Wall Paintings in Ephesos restored to their original glory

Visitors walking through Terrace House 2 in the centre of Ephesos these days, get to observe an international team of conservators at work and gain insight into their operating process. Until July the wall paintings of three rooms in Residential Unit 5 are going to be cleaned, cracks will be closed and paintings retouched.

In 2010, the Ephesus Foundation started a large conservation project for wall paintings under the scientific direction of the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Sponsors are adopting rooms and thereby guarantee the sustainable preservation of the precious wall paintings from the Roman Imperial Period. This year’s conservation activities are supported by the Turkish Enka Vakfi and Doğus Group.

The luxurious Roman private houses in the center of the ancient city of Ephesos have become a true attraction since their discovery, especially with their accessibility through the construction of the modern shelter. Every year the site is visited by 160.000 people. Footbridges and steps for visitors not only provide an unique insight into Roman domestic culture, but also allow science to directly meet the public. Visitors get the opportunity to experience research and historic preservation first-hand and to learn about particular work steps of the conservators.

In 2010, the Ephesus Foundation started a project focussing on the cleaning and conservation of the wall paintings in more than 70 rooms of Terrace House 2. In 2013, work concentrates on the famous fresco with philosopher portraits and the Stucco Room in Residential Unit 5. After this year’s campaign in July eight rooms on the middle terrace of the Terrace House will have been restored to their original glory.

“This year, the Ephesus Foundation once again supports the conservation of the wall paintings in Terrace House 2 in 2013. The project was implemented four years ago and is a great success. About 120m² of painted wall has already been preserved.”, underlines Ahmet Kocabıyık, chairman of Borusan Holding und President of the Ephesus Foundation. “We would like to thank all our sponsors. This year’s work is made possible by the generous support of Enka Vakfı und Doğus Group.”

Sabine Ladstätter, Excavation Director Ephesos and Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute: “As Excavation Director I have the responsibility not only for the archaeological exploration of Ephesos, but also for the preservation of the ancient city. This can only be achieved in co-operation with private sponsors, since adequate public funds are no longer available. The happier we are, of course, that we have found a reliable partner in the Ephesus Foundation. Each year the Foundation provides support for research projects as well as conservation activities at ancient monuments. This is a good example of successful cooperation between Turkey and Austria, to preserve our cultural heritage for future generations.”

Overview Terrace House 1 and 2 Residential Unit 3 and 5 Medaillons with philosopher portraits - before

Medaillons with philosopher portraits - after Conservation Activities in the Stucco Room Stucco Room - before

Stucco Room -after Conservation Activities in the Bedroom and Court Conservation Activities in the Bedroom

Conservation Team