The statue of Artemis which was found in 1980 in Salamis is on display at the Güzelyurt Nature and Archaeology Museum. The statue was surrounded with deer figures, but was missing some pieces.
Last year, 37 years later in the same area, the remaining pieces were found by coincidence – a hand and the other deer figure. The items have been treated during a one-year period and were recently installed on the main body and the sculpture was completed. The statue of Artemis, which represents abundance and fertility dates back to the 2nd century.
Director of the Museum of Antiquities and Museums Fuat Azimli said that the works on the sea floor are very sensitive and the salt purification process is very important for the underwater works.
With the purification process, changes in the climatic conditions (humidity, temperature) will occur in breaking, crumbling, fragmentation and cracking of the works, said Azimli, so the conservation process lasted for a year.
During this time, the algae, sand and chalky parts on the pieces were cleaned, the salt rate measured and three times a week the water changed until salt was seen to be cleared. When the salt ratio was acceptable the work was ready to be installed, Azimli said.
Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu said in his statement on the subject that there are valuable treasures in all parts of our country.
So far, Artemis, the statue of abundance and fertility, three have been found in Turkey and 1 in Cyprus, which was missing a deer statue and parts of Artemis’s hand. These parts have been found and have been restored in a healthy way and we are proud to exhibit this statue for the people of Northern Cyprus and tourism.
Minister Ataoğlu said the Ministry is active in the conservation activities of portable works in the restoration and conservation laboratories of the Centre for Preservation and Conservation of Cultural Heritage under the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums attached to the Ministry of Tourism and Environment.
Stating that the Centre has a very important function in the maintenance, repair and preservation of ancient artefacts, Ataoğlu said, “We will continue to provide the necessary support for bringing the centre to a more comprehensive restoration and conservation process.”
He also stated that the museum work continues for the exhibition of works in the country. Museums have opened in Iskele and Guzelyurt which are now completed and Lefke museum will be opened in 3-4 months time.
We continue our work on museums with the understanding of contemporary museology and the places of conservation in order to exhibit our works in a healthy way, said Ataoğlu.
In a meeting with Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Ataoglu said that they have decided to increase the number of archaeological sites in the country and to provide technical support to improve the exhibitions in museums.