Yannos Kouragios, the archaeologist who has linked his career to the excavation and restoration of Despotiko and to showcasing the great civilisation that evolved in the Cyclades over centuries, speaks enthusiastically of the second phase of restoration at Despotiko as he awaits with patience the passage of time and the anticipated outcomes.
“The second phase of restoration has begun with the grant from the Canellopoulos Foundation. We have proceeded with restoring the area that connected the restaurant with the temple, using both ancient and contemporary materials. Despite the time and cost this entails, it is nevertheless a key process before the epistyles can be fitted, for both aesthetic and structural reasons so as to ensure maximum stability against strong winds or potential earthquakes. It is an intermediate wall that ‘binds’ together and supports the structure. The design is carried out by Dimitirs Englezos (the civil engineer who was also in charge of the Amphipolis monument), and the restoration by the architect-restorer Goulielmos Orestidis.
These days we are erecting the second pillar of the restaurant, consisting of two pieces (drums), the restoration of which also entailed the use of ο both ancient and contemporary materials.
At the same time we are trying to restore the walls throughout the complex of the sanctuary. To this end we have purchased a kind of marble that closely matches the original Pariano variety of Naxos. The facades also need to be formed, using new and ancient materials. The works are expected to last until the first days of October”.
An archaeologist’s time goes by slowly, with long phases of work and even longer ones of waiting for approval and funding. Yet when the moment comes, this wasted time means nothing compared to achieving the desired outcome: to show the grandeur that lay buried or disjointed, waiting to resume its original life and form.