The restoration, museum display, and accessibility project for the Temple of Zeus Olympius is making significant progress with the erection of one of the majestic Telamons. After years of study, research, and restoration, the stone giant from ancient Akragas is almost ready to stand tall within the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. The Telamon could be towering by the end of summer. This impressive monument, nearly 8 meters high, adorned the Temple of Zeus Olympius in the 5th century BC. Its ruins are among the main attractions of the archaeological site. “It is not a copy, like the one already existing at the temple of Zeus,” explains Roberto Sciarratta, director of the Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples. “But it is an original Telamon created by reassembling various blocks, all belonging to the same figure, recovered from the ruins of the temple. Once completed, we will be able to position an image of at least twelve meters in an upright position.” It will be a sight to behold that can be admired from various angles, providing an additional attraction for the UNESCO World Heritage site. The Telamon, which will undergo anastilosis, the restoration technique that reassembles the original pieces of a destroyed construction, has been reconstructed over the years by combining original blocks preserved in the temple area, discovered as early as 1920. Over ninety fragments belonging to at least eight different Telamons were recovered. The project, led by architects Roberto Sciarratta and Carmelo Bennardo, also includes the reconstruction of a part of the frieze of the Temple of Zeus Olympius and the museum display of the entire temple area. Based on studies conducted with the German Archaeological Institute of Rome, which discovered an ancient city nearby, various artifacts have been recovered and will be exhibited along the north side of the temple. A permanent exhibition will help visitors understand the symbol of Agrigento’s greatness in the Greek world.
Agrigento, il gigante Telamone della Valle dei Templi si alzerà in piedi