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Authorities seize illegal building in Valley of Temples

Building was going up in UNESCO world heritage site

14 November, 17:36
Authorities seize illegal building in Valley of Temples (ANSA) - Agrigento, November 14 - Authorities say they've seized an illegal construction site in a major archaeological area near the Sicilian city of Agrigento.

A building under construction without authorization, as well as a renovation project within the famed Valley of the Temples were all seized, authorities said Wednesday.

The seven Doric temples at Agrigento, most of which probably date from the fifth century BC, are one of the glories of Magna Graecia, a swathe of southern Italy which was once dotted with wealthy and culturally lavish Greek cities.

The name of the Valley of the Temples, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is misleading as the site is actually located on a ridge on the edge of Agrigento.

Use of the area has been in dispute for some time. Last year, the city's mayor fought with a Russian industrialist intent on buying the ruins of the Temple of Zeus.

Mayor Marco Zambuto said then that the city was interested in attracting foreign investment in the site, possibly corporate sponsorships of renovations and maintenance of the temples and sanctuaries in the valley.

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