PULA, 17 June 2021 – Construction has started this week on the ’Small Roman Theatre’ in the Croatian city of Pula.
The Small Roman Theatre is one of the largest and most significant ancient monuments of the city of Pula. Until about ten years ago, it was used as one of the main city places for cultural activities, but due to damage that was stopped.
The archeological remains of the Small Roman Theatre are located in the centre of Pula, on the eastern slope of Kaštela and are from the 1st century. Only the stage foundations and a part of the semi-circular viewing area remained preserved.
After the completion of the project, the Small Roman Theatre will be recognised as an example of excellence in the conservation and reconstruction of cultural heritage, which is the primary goal, but also as a sustainable project of opening significant cultural and historical heritage to users.
The project should be completed by May 10, 2022. Upon completion of the works, the Small Roman Theatre will be able to hold about 2,000 visitors.
It will then be used again as a restored cultural and historical monument. It will host the International Festival of Ancient Drama Mediterranean, the establishment of which is planned in cooperation with the Istrian National Theatre, as well as the programmes of the Pula Film Festival and other cultural events.
The Small Roman Theatre will thus become a place of permeation of monumental heritage, culture and tourism.
On Wednesday, the Mayor of Pula Filip Zoričić helped present the commencement of the works within the project “Conservation and Reconstruction of the Small Roman Theatre – Pula” for which co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund was provided.
The director of the Archaeological Museum of Istria Darko Komšo, conservator and senior advisor of the Ministry of Culture and Media Nataša Nefat, representative of ING-GRAD Stjepan Antolović, assistant director of CFCA Matea Radić, representative of the Pula Tourist Board Marinela Kolić also attended the presentation in the newly renovated building of the Archaeological Museum of Istria, as well as the head of the Department for the implementation of the ITU mechanism in the City of Pula Damir Prhat.
“This is a world story, and the city of Pula is a world city. I am glad that in this project, the City of Pula provided 8.5 million kuna through the ITU mechanism, because this whole story will contribute to the creation of a new city. Culture creates citizenship, citizenship changes society, and the individual makes an extraordinary contribution to that, and we will talk about it all the time. Through culture, this is achieved in a completely new way. As a professor and historian, I am proud that the Small Roman Theatre will become a gathering place for young people and schoolchildren,” said the Mayor of Pula Filip Zoričić.
The renovated Small Roman Theatre and its integration with the adapted and extended building of the Archaeological Museum of Istria, which incorporates a multimedia glass facade, a new permanent exhibition, lapidary and landscaped archaeological finds will be an outstanding contribution to the cultural and tourist offer of Pula, Istria and Croatia.
With the completion of these projects, Croatia will get an impressive and unique museum-monument combination and a new very attractive historical monument with exceptional opportunities for cultural upgrading.
Pula is also home to the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers entirely preserved. Pula Arena was constructed between 27 BC and AD 68, and is among the world’s six largest surviving Roman arenas. The arena is also the country’s best-preserved ancient monument.