The plan was to restore the stage at the Roman Theatre. / sur

Malaga's Roman theatre restoration put on hold by Junta after warning from experts

Although the regional Ministry of Culture approved plans to restore the stage three years ago, technicians believe that the project could cause further damage to the site

JESÚS HINOJOSA Malaga

The Junta de Andalucía has backtracked on a project it authorised three years ago for further restoration of the Roman theatre in Malaga. In 2018 the regional Ministry of Culture approved plans to recover the orchestra and the front of the stage, but now the same department says they cannot go ahead, at least for the time being.

It appears that in 2019 and 2020 the Ministry received unfavourable reports from the technical department regarding issues to do with the measurements used for the plans and the amount of money the works would cost, and there has been a debate among officials over how far the works should go. As a result, they decided to commission another study and to review the idea of re-using materials from previous excavations for the restoration, because they say it would lead to an irreversible loss of original pieces which could be useful for archaeologists to study in the future.

Mistake

Technicians seem to think that it would be a mistake to restore the stage completely, as other works which have been carried out since this project was drawn up have provided further information about its structure, and there is a possibility that the planned restoration works could in fact be detrimental.

The experts also recommend that the route for visitors to the Roman theatre be changed to prevent them walking on original marble elements on the southern side, as these are deteriorating.

So, new plans are to be drawn up and the Ministry says no more restoration works can be carried out until further inspections have been made of the site. Sources deny that there has been a change of criteria regarding the restoration, but stress that more research and inspections are now necessary because there had been so many objections to the original project.