AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled for the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis - one of the original seven wonders of the world at Selçuk, near Izmir.
The Temple of Artemis, or Artemision in Greek, recalled in both Greek and Byzantine anthologies for its magnificence, was once one of the Seven Wonders of the World. After decades of vandalism, religious conflict and decay it is finally to be rebuilt.
Dr. Atýlay Ýleri, the founder of the Selçuk Artemis Culture, Arts and Education Foundation, met with Dr. Anton Bammer of the archaeology institute at the University of Vienna, Austria, a decade ago while Dr Bammer was leading a series of excavations in the area. During this period, experts searched for the techniques on how to rebuild Artemis.
It was at this meeting that the two began to realize the reconstruction of the once magnificent Temple of Artemis. With support from Austrian scientists, Ýleri had Swiss architects prepare a plan for the reconstruction of the temple.
Ýleri, who has dreamed of reconstructing the temple for 10 years, said: When completed, the temple will not be a copy or an imitation of the original Artemis but the Artemis itself. And its sisters of the past will set their eyes on it with pride and emulation.
The original Temple of Artemis had 120 columns. Thirty-six of them were placed on cubic circles. If completed, the new temple of Artemis will be the third Temple of Artemis constructed in history.
Its size will be the same as the original. A total of 25,000 cubic meters of solid marble, the original construction material of Artemis, will be used in the construction of the third temple. Sixty of the 120 columns of the new temple will have base plates.
To find the best sculptures to adorn the restored temple, a lottery will be held to form a selection committee chosen from representatives of 196 U.N. member countries.
Each selected representative will then select two sculptors from the nation they represent. The selected sculptors will then take part in workshops run by the Artemis Culture, Arts and Education Foundation.
The sculptors will first begin work on the cubic bases for the columns, with sculptures to be inspired by either of two sayings attributed to Heracleitos of Ephesus: War is the father of everything and Everything flows and nothing abides.
An international jury will then choose two sculptures from all the pieces produced by artists to be featured in the temple. One of the winning sculptures will be displayed on one of the cubic circles and the other will be displayed in the temple's yard.
Ýleri said the project would rock the world of art. When the temple is completed, the workshops will start serving as a school of sculpture. Selçuk will be the center of world sculpture, he said.
The Artemis Culture, Arts, and Education Foundation was opened in Selçuk in September 2007. The foundation's mission is to reconstruct the Artemis Temple. The project is expected to cost $150 million.
Erected at the expense of the Lydian king, Karun, at Ephesus (modern-day Turkey) in the seventh century B.C., the Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the goddess Artemis, or Artemis of Ephesus, the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of forests, hills, virginity and fertility.