HAS ALLIANOI’S LAST HOUR STRUCK? PLACIDO DOMINGO MAKES URGENT APPEAL TO SAVE ANCIENT CITY
In a strong and personal letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, Plácido Domingo - world renowned tenor and conductor who is President of Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation of Heritage Organisations - urges Prime Minister Erdogan to reconsider the flooding of the unique Roman spa settlement of Allainoi and thus to prevent such a cultural tragedy from happening.
After years of protests, it now seems that the last hour has struck for Allianoi, the magnificent archaeological site located near Bergama in western Turkey. The expected flooding of Allianoi, as the result of the Yortanli irrigation dam scheme, would result in the loss of the entire site, dating from the 2nd century AD.
In his appeal, Plácido Domingo stresses: “We are numerous who strongly believe that saving the ancient site of Allianoi would bring lasting and sustainable benefits to the local population in Turkey. An irrigation dam would indeed help some people working in the agricultural sector yet only for a limited time. By contrast, saving this ancient treasure would enrich us all, the people of Turkey as well as the other Europeans, for generations to come. Moreover, instead of disappearing under the water, a site of such archaeological importance like Allianoi can become a powerful asset for a sustainable local tourist development, with the creation of many new jobs.”
“Large local and international protests have called for Allianoi to be saved, clearly demonstrating that people attach great value to their history and memory. This gives depth and meaning to their lives. Every effort should therefore be invested in preserving those places - such as Allianoi - which connect us with previous generations and which we, in our turn, have the responsibility to transmit to future generations.” Domingo added in his appeal to Prime Minister Erdogan.
In his letter, Plácido Domingo reiterated Europa Nostra’s keen readiness to help the Turkish government find an alternative for Allianoi which would become a source of pride for all parties concerned.