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World’s largest mosaic reopens in Hatay, Türkiye after earthquake

World's largest mosaic reopens in Hatay, Türkiye after earthquake Mosaics in museum, Hatay, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)
By Newsroom
Jun 14, 2024 5:10 PM

The Necmi Asfuroglu Archaeology Museum in Hatay, Türkiye, has reopened its doors to visitors after undergoing maintenance and repairs.

The museum, home to the world’s largest single-piece mosaic, had survived the devastating February 6 earthquakes with minimal damage.

Discovered approximately 14 years ago during the construction of a hotel, the museum features a unique blend of artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, and Islamic periods.

Despite the severe tremors, the museum’s artifacts, including street and bathhouse remnants, remained unscathed. Only the entrance walls suffered minor cracks and plaster damage.

Following restoration efforts supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and coordinated by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, the museum reopened on June 11.

The 1,050-square-meter mosaic floor considered the world’s largest single-piece mosaic, is once again available for public viewing. This mosaic, which experienced some undulations during a 6th-century earthquake, has attracted significant attention.

Ali Celikay, Acting Director of the Hatay Archaeology Museum, commented on the museum’s recovery and reopening. He stated, “Our museum consists of both indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, with around 341 artifacts displayed indoors. These exhibits come from excavations in the open area, where significant findings include mosaics from a forum structure and the Pegasus Mosaic from early Roman times, along with streets, shops, and workshops.”

Visitors have already begun returning to the museum. Suheyla Tas, who visited the museum with her grandson and son, expressed her excitement, saying, “Our museum is beautiful. I visited before the earthquakes, and now that it’s reopened, I’ve come again. It’s close to our home, and visiting helps us forget the trauma of the earthquake.”

Ozkan Tas, another visitor, highlighted the historical significance of Hatay and the museum’s role in the city’s recovery. He noted, “Hatay is full of history. The reopening of the museum is a step towards returning to our pre-earthquake days, and it brings us joy.”

The reopening of the Necmi Asfuroglu Archaeology Museum marks a significant milestone in Hatay’s recovery, offering both locals and tourists a glimpse into the region’s rich historical tapestry.

Last Updated:  Jun 29, 2024 8:11 AM