Bursa, Nov 3 () - In İznik district of Northwestern province of Bursa, destruction of the arch above historical Lefke Gate and its replacement with a new one within restoration works sparked criticism against the Ministry of Culture and Tourism that has put the artefact in tender and the restoration company.
The restoration company’s officials defended they have been respecting the project resigned by the Council of Monuments, and a renewed arc had been already erected in the 1980s, underlining they have discovered plastering and cement on the structure.
“The arch was full of pile of rubble, and its top parts had cracks, causing danger. We implement what the project says, which belongs to the ministry. We are constructing with respect to its original structure” said a company official.
On the other hand, the former Director of Museum in İznik, Taylan Sevil, urged the arch was original and it has only been plastered for protection and isolation. “They have ruined it” said Sevil, calling on officials to reinvestigate the structure.
The Ministry has put the Lefke Gate of İznik Walls for almost 1,740,000 liras, for the ongoing restoration works.
While the company failed to complete restoration works before the deadline, which was in September, the arch was destroyed by a compressor, as footages of inhabitants showed. After the deconstruction, works to install back the arch with wooden mould have been launched.
Lefke Gate had been constructed with the order of the 14th Emperor of the Roman Empire, Emperor Hadrian (117-138), in the east of İznik.