zadar sphinx, Source: Grad Zadar

Zadar’s Sphinx to undergo renovation and preservation efforts

Zadar’s Sphinx to undergo renovation and preservation efforts

The historical landmark will be preserved thanks to EU funding under the RECOLOR project

One of Zadar’s most famous landmarks, the Zadar Sphinx will be undergoing renovation and preservation works in order to protect the valuable site for the sake of future generations. The Sphinx was commissioned over a century ago, in 1918, by Giovanni Smirich, a local artist, painter and historian who wished to pay tribute to his late wife Attilia.

Preserving historical heritage

Exploratory and preparatory steps for reconstruction were taken at the beginning of last week when archaeologists commenced surveying and researching the site in order to determine the best conservational approach.

Work will be done under the RECOLOR project (Reviving and EnhanCing artwOrks and Landscapes Of the AdRiatic), financed by EU funds and supervised by Zadar’s local authorities. The municipality is eager to point out that given the fact that the Sphinx is considered a part of Croatia’s historical heritage, all work that is being done by archaeologists adheres to all the necessary rules and regulations that apply to protected cultural sites.

The tasks of archaeologists who will be handling the restorations will be to determine how best to preserve the site for future generations – and how to bring out the best of the Sphinx which has been buried and left neglected for the past few decades.

As part of the works, a 3D scan of the site will first be conducted in order to establish the sculpture’s full layout. Then, lab tests will determine what type of negative elements are to blame for its deteriorating state. Based on the findings, archaeologists will envelop the site with several protective layers that are meant to help the Sphinx brush off most kinds of damages.

After protective work is completed, the city of Zadar will then begin restoring the site to its original form, recreating parts of the sculpture that are currently missing, such as the medallion which used to sit on its chest or the dagger it held in its hands. 



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