Archaeological work at Ephesus shut down by Turkish government | The Art Newspaper

Conservators work on a mosaic in the court of a house in
Ephesus, showing a Nereid sitting on the back of a
hippocampus (Photo: CCA)

Turkey’s crackdown on dissent has spread to the field of archaeology, with a dig at the ancient site of Ephesus in western Turkey suspended because of a political dispute with Austria. The project, run by the Austrian Archaeological Institute, was forced by the Turkish government to stop work at the end of August, despite two more months of planned conservation at the site.

“I regret this decision very much because it mixes politics and science, and is inconsistent with the partnership that we have fostered over many years in Ephesus,” Austria’s vice chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, told the Austrian edition of The Local. “With this step, the freedom of science is continuing to decline.”

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