ARCHEOLOGY – Listed as a historic monument, the site is one of the few testimonies to the presence of the ancient colony. The question of its conservation for months.
Discovered in the 7th arrondissement of Marseille in 2017, on the construction site of an apartment building, the Greek Corderie quarry has been partially classified as a historic monument. But, to ensure its conservation, the State now plans to bury it, relaunching the controversy with the defenders of the site. Pointing out the state of “great fragility“Of the remains, the prefecture of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region announced in a press release on Wednesday that the option of reburial was”the best»To guarantee its preservation, confirming information from the local Marsactu investigation site.
At the same time, associations and residents expressed their opposition to such a scenario on the spot, demanding that the State respect its commitments to enhance the 635 m.2 classified and still visible. “We do not want to bury, even if only one column remains, it will be the symbol of what we have been able to do against destruction, we will protect it to the end“, Insists to AFP Joëlle Gilles, president of the neighborhood committee, who wants to save”what little remains»Vestiges located a stone’s throw from the Old Port, the major part of which is now permanently buried under the constructed building.
Very friable, the stones of the active quarry of the Ve century BC – shortly after the arrival of the Phocaeans in Marseille – in the Iuh century AD are particularly threatened by water infiltration. “The conservation of these remains is very difficult“, Confirmed to AFP Dominique Garcia, president of the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), who had carried out the excavations at the origin of the discovery: to bury these remains”so that they don’t disappear won’t seem totally meaningless to me“, Especially since”the site has been perfectly documented and is therefore preserved, which is the principle of preventive archeology“.
As for the interest of the site, “it is not comparable to the Cosquer cave” [grotte sous-marine dont une réplique est actuellement en cours d’installation à Marseille, sur le modèle des grottes de Lascaux ou Chauvet], relativizes Dominique Garcia, for whom the controversy is perhaps “more political than patrimonial“. Same story on the side of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (Drac), according to which “the preferred solution is that of re-burying the remains. The goal being to guarantee sustainable conservation” of the site.
At the town hall of Marseille, it is ensured that no official information has been communicated on the future of the site since a meeting with the Drac in November 2020. At the time, the three hypotheses of a total reburial, of a Partial recovery via glazed windows or maintaining the quarry as unearthed with the creation of a protection room were still on the table. The partial valuation scenario “was presented to us as something that was going to be very complicated, dear», Recalls Sophie Camard, the mayor (LFI) of the 1st and 7th arrondissements of Marseille.
Why did you save this space so that we could be told after that (…) by default it would be buried again? We had to present a project to allow us to continue to see these remains
Sophie Camard, mayor (LFI) of the 1st and 7th arrondissements of Marseille
But “why save this space so that we can be told after that (…) by default it would be buried again? We had to present a project to allow us to continue to see these remains“, what “was the compromise of the timeShe pleads. Project that Marseille elected officials are still waiting for. When classifying part of the site (with a total area of 6500 m2) under Historical Monuments, in September 2018, the Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen stressed that the conservation of the quarry should be accompanied “specific arrangements allowing its visibility“.
A “visibilityWhich could, in the event of re-burial, take the form of a virtual replica of the site, the entirety of which has been the subject of a 3D survey. “Whatever the hypothesis decided by the state, they will have to invite the city to sit around the table“, Claims Jean-Marc Coppola, deputy mayor of Marseille in charge of culture. “We cannot ask that the word be kept for the sale of submarines in Australia and that the word and the commitment made by the former Minister of Culture be flouted», Ironically the chosen one.