Nov 17, 2008

Seven Wonders Reborn

Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World will be getting new life. The gods to be so honored: Artemis and Helios.

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus by Maerten Van Heemskerck One of the Seven Ancient Wonders of World

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Plans are being drawn up to rebuild the Temple of Artemis in Selçuk.

Dr. Atılay İleri, 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, İleri had Swiss architects prepare a plan for the reconstruction of the temple.

İleri, 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.”

Colossus of Rhodes, One of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, by Maerten Van Heemskerck

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The massive re-envisioning of Helios, known as the Collosus, will, appropriately for a sun god, be made of light.

Like the original, erected in homage to the sun god Helios by the master sculptor Chares of Lindos, the new Colossus will adorn an outer pier in the harbour area of Rhodes, and be visible to passing ships.

And like its ancient namesake, the modern-day wonder will be dedicated to celebrating peace and built, at least in part, out of melted-down weapons from around the world.

But unlike the ancient Colossus, which stood 34 metres high before an earthquake toppled it in 226BC, the groundbreaking work of art is slated to be much taller and bigger. And unlike previous reconstruction efforts, officials say the Cologne-based design team is determined to avoid recreating a replica.

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Instead, in the spirit of the 21st century the new Colossus has been conceived as a highly innovative light sculpture, a work of art that will allow visitors to physically inspect it by day as well as enjoy - through light shows - a variety of stories it will "tell" by night.

No word yet on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the giant statue of Zeus. Developing...

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