Restora­tion work starts on Ro­man mo­saic dam­aged in theft

Costa del Sol News - - FRONT PAGE -

NEWS Staff Re­porter RESTORA­TION work got un­der­way last week on an an­cient Ro­man mo­saic in Mar­bella that was dam­aged last year by thieves who stole the Me­dusa’s head that was its cen­tral fea­ture.

In Jan­uary 2016 thieves broke into the Villa Ro­mano ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site at Río Verde and caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to one of the large mo­saic de­signs em­bed­ded in the ground at the site. In ad­di­tion to tak­ing the tiles that made up the Me­dusa’s head de­sign, they dis­lodged or smashed nu­mer­ous other tiles in the process.

Fol­low­ing a lengthy plan­ning and ap­proval process, the restora­tion work was con­tracted out to a spe­cial­ist firm from Fuen­girola, which has a six-per­son team work­ing on the project in­clud­ing ar­chae­ol­o­gists and res- tora­tion spe­cial­ists.

Some of the dam­aged area of the mo­saic can be re­paired us­ing orig­i­nal tiles that were left be­hind af­ter the theft, but forthe part fea­tur­ing Me­dusa’s head only around 10% of the orig­i­nal tiles re­mained, mean­ing re­place­ment tiles will have to be used. Th­ese will be in the same colours as the old tiles but in lighter tones so that the re­con­structed part is clearly dif­fer­en­ti­ated from the orig­i­nal, as re­quired un­der Spain’s reg­u­la­tions for his­toric restora­tions.

At a visit to the site last week Mar­bella mayor Án­ge­les Muñoz said that “un­for­tu­nately no progress has been made in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion” into the theft of the Me­dusa’s head tiles. Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, se­cu­rity cam­eras and new light­ing were in­stalled, and work con­tin­ues on bet­ter en­clos­ing the perime­ter of the site.

Restora­tion work on the dam­aged mo­saic is now un­der­way

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