The restoration and enhancement of the ruins of the Palace of Galerius (the archaeological site at Navarinou Square and D. Gounari Street) was carried out with funding provided by Greece and the EU. This project was completed over three periods (1993-2000, 2002-2006, and 2011-2014).
The aim of the project was the study, rescue, and protection of the monument from further damage, the enhancement of its architectural structure and interior decoration, as well as making it accessible to the public as an outdoor museum.
The project began in 1994 and was completed in 2015, during which excavation research was conducted; the aim of which was to investigate building phases preceding the palace.
The various works were implemented under supervision by the 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture, in three periods (1994-2000, 2002-2006, 2010-2015), according to studies approved by the responsible state authority. These included:
• a. Restoration of the building remains of six ancient structures, covering a total expanse of 9000 sq. m.
• b. Conservation of the monuments’ interior decoration, covering a total surface area of 1682 sq. m.
• c. Upgrading and protection of the archaeological site.
In the course of the project, 25 restoration studies were produced, while in collaboration with the Building Materials Laboratory of the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, within the framework of a NATO research program (1994-1999), the construction materials of the ancient buildings were studied. Simultaneously, the technical specifications for new materials (mortars, bricks) to be employed in the interventions were determined in order for them to be compatible with ancient ones.
Interventions were implemented in accordance with the principles of the Charter of Venice, and were broadened through specific scientific choices:
• Respect for the monuments’ original structural system.
• Preservation of all building phases of the structures.
• Limiting of interventions to those absolutely necessary in order not to distort the monuments’ authenticity.
• Reconstruction/completion of destroyed parts of the masonry and ancient floors of the buildings with new materials.
These interventions, which were limited, were determined on the basis of the criterion of the restoration of the static balance and morphological unity of the ruins, so as to render them recognizable by the public.
• The removal of incorrect earlier restoration interventions to both improves the image of the monuments and for their better protection.
In 2008, the archaeological site of Navarinou Square received an award from the EU and Europa Nostra for the exceptional and exemplary restoration and conservation of its ruins, as well as for the totality of interventions, which transformed an abandoned space into a well-organized and educational point of attraction in the heart of the modern city.