Bulgarian Govt Halts Restoration of Ancient Serdica Site in Sofia
Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov on Tuesday moved to stop restoration works at the site of Serdica, an ancient city whose remains lie beneath Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
Rashidov took the step after being warned by citizens that the restoration process is detrimental to the archaeological complex's original appearance.
The site, which is to become an open-air museum after work is complete, is located immediately next to the Council of Ministers' building in downtown Sofia and a few hundred meters from the St Nedelya church.
A decision of the restoration team to add thin brick layers on top of the remains to prevent them from collapsing in the near future drew anger from citizens, but also from opposition mayor candidates (ahead of the October 25 local elections) who suggest this is a wrong way to preserve archaeological heritage.
Sofia Deputy Mayor Todor Chobanov, however, has been quick to downplay criticism.
On Monday Chobanov wrote on Facebook that the abovementioned practice was used during the restoration of Pompei in Italy, the Colosseum in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and elsewhere.
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