NDP: Hoisting and Transportation

The traditional hoisting and transportation method with wooden tripods was demanded by METU at the Round Table Conferences. The idea was sympathetic and in theory possible. However, the steep rock slope where the wooden tripod would have to operate from and the massive weight of the stone blocks, raised doubts. The stone blocks up to seven tons, would have to be hoisted and transported by the wooden tripod from the steep slope. This method could not ensure the safety of the workers as well as the blocks themselves. METU refused to take responsibility for this method. As a result the other participants decided that the hoisting and transportation by a wooden tripod would entail unacceptable risk.

The use of a crane placed in the centre of the terrace in front of the statues would enable a controlled operation, as stated in the World Monuments Mission report dated June-September 2002: “The use of cranes in conserving historic monuments is increasing throughout the world”. The majority were in favour of a mobile crane under certain conditions.

Based on these conditions, the team and ENKA selected a mobile crane with great forethought. The computerized control structure of the selected crane enabled precision in motion in all directions within millimeters as well as desired speed of motion. The additional crane hoisting equipment consisted of a system of soft slings. The relative soft rubber tires prevented any damage to the bedrock of the terrace. The only setback was that all tires were damaged and had to be replaced as was discovered during the operation.

The highly professional and specialized team of operators contributed also to the successful, timely and efficient performance of the entire operation. During the transport and the operation of the crane, observation of critical points and places on certain sculptures was taken into consideration. A detailed inspection was also performed after the completion of each operation. It can be stated that the crane did not incur any damage nor did it create conditions for any negative consequences in the process of the operations.