The ancient theatre of Larissa was constructed at the beginning of the 3rd century BC on the southern slopes of the Frourion (Fortress) hill, where the fortified acropolis of the ancient polis or city was located. The upper part of the theatre was visible up to the mid-19th century, however, following an earthquake in 1868, the koilon (amphitheatrical seating area) was covered by rubble from the brick houses that were destroyed and new buildings were constructed on top of that layer of back filling. Excavations to reveal the theatre commenced in 1910, bringing a part of the skene (stage) to light, whilst the monument was fully uncovered through a programme of expropriations, which started in 1990, was taken up again in 1998 and completed in the year 2000.
The restoration work included cleaning the marble and travertine surfaces of the ancient theatre; stabilisation through surface impregnation; reattaching fragments or flakes created by rejoining of elements; and restoration of parts, mainly by filling in fractures or fissures with grout. Additionally plans have been made to restore the area near the western parodos (entrance) of the theatre; place information signage at the entrance and along the perimetre of the monument; produce a printed monument guidebook; establish a specially-equipped worksite hut to meet the conservation needs in the area NW of the theatre, where the ruins are spread out and take aerial photographs of the monument. The project was implemented, by direct labour, by the Ancient Theatre Scientific Committee of the Archaeological Receipts Fund for the Execution of Archaeological Projects.
Benefits: The ancient theatre and the surrounding historical centre have remained the heart of the city since ancient times. Restoring and upgrading the theatre showcases the city's history, as it serves as a landmark in the daily life of local citizens and visitors.
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