Damage to Ancient Messene‘s site from a fire last Monday that led to the evacuation of four villages was minimal, according to an on-site inspection carried out by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
There are no damages, except for soot on stones fallen off the city wall, while Byzantine chapels nearby had minor damages. All will be addressed immediately by conservators, Greece’s Culture Secretary General Lina Mendoni said, as she led a group of officials, archaeologists and technical staff around the site.
The fire, according to the Ministry, actually revealed more ashlar blocks from the ancient defensive wall on either side of the Arcadian Gate when the brush around was burnt. A study on the wall’s conservation and reconstruction will be prepared for future inclusion in a funding program.
The abandoned chapel of Klissa-Porti (10th century) and the churches of Panagitsa in Monastiraki Zerbission (14th century) and Agios Nikolaos Zerbission (10th century) suffered minor damages from the fire and will be both examined and conserved. Further directions were given for the immediate support work to protect the Arcadian Gate and vehicles going through it. Future plans of the area include sinking the road below the current level to preserve the monument.