The massive bronze Colossus of Rhodes may be rebuilt, Mayor Fotis Hatzidiacos has been quoted saying to media on Wednesday. His remarks were made regarding an exhibition on the island’s history due to open at Paris’s Louvre museum on Friday.
Although the idea of rebuilding the statue has periodically cropped up and has been the dream of many successive mayors at the head of the ancient fortified Mediterranean city, the project has never got off the ground. This is mostly due to a lack of funding and also to openly expressed perplexity on behalf of the Greek culture ministry. The last attempt was in 2000, when the municipality launched an international competition to rebuild the Colossus. Nothing ever came of the efforts, however, Hatzidiacos said he will push forward on it.
”We are in contact with several scientists and the place where the statue will be placed has yet to be decided,” he said, announcing that an international conference will be held springtime in Rhodes to discuss how to create a new Colossus in the likes of the one that served as a lighthouse at the mouth of the island’s port, and which an earthquake destroyed 2,200 years ago.
The Colossus was built by Rhodes inhabitants in honor of the sun-god of antiquity Helios, after the successful defeat of invading Macedonians under Alexander the Great’s general — Antigonus’s son Demetrius — in the early fourth century B.C., following a lengthy siege. All the bronze weapons left on the battlefield by the enemy were gathered and fused into the statue. Charles of Lindos, son and pupil of Lysippus, constructed it in 290 BC.
According to written accounts of the time, his Colossus was over 30 meters high (between 32 and 33, according to the source) on a 17-meter-high base at the entrance of the Rhodes port, Greece, which in those times was one of the Mediterranean’s major commercial and cultural centers.