Delos was a sacred place with splendid buildings and sanctuaries and as such, it was never forgotten; many references are preserved by travellers who visited the island in the last centuries. Numerous pieces of sculpture were transferred to Museums of Greece and abroad, while marbles from the ancient buildings were used as building material by the inhabitants of the nearby islands.
Excavations on Delos started in 1873 by the French School of Archaeology at Athens. Between 1904 and 1914, under the direction of M. Holleaux and thanks to the donation of Duke de Loubat, the most significant sections of the ancient site were uncovered.
Intensive excavations were conducted in the years 1958-1975. The excavations are still carried out by the French School of Archaeology, but the religious, political and commercial centre of the island has already been revealed along with many private houses. Restricted excavations were also conducted by Greek archaeologists at the beginning of the century.
Large-scale restoration work has been undertaken by the French School of Archaeology mainly in the sector of the private houses, but in the recent years, the 21st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities has also carried out similar work. Several columns have been rebuilt and ancient houses have been roofed in order to protect the mosaic floors (House of the Trident, House of the Masks, House of Hermes). In 1990 Delos was included in the World's Cultural Heritage, protected by the UNESCO.
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