Sir Hardcastle and the Valley of the Temples
Palickap - CC4.0
Sir Hardcastle was the proponent of the rebirth of the Valley of the Temples which took place in the early twentieth century.
Sir Hardcastle was an English noble with a passion for archeology. He was a captain of the British Navy and had fought during the British colonial wars. Once in Agrigento he immediately understood the inestimable value of the Valley of the Temples and was unable to tolerate the state of abandonment in which it poured. So it was that he moved to Agrigento where he began a project, which lasted twelve years, to return to make the Valley of the Temples shine. During these years Sir Hardcastle, in order to follow the excavations and the restoration works closely, bought a villa along the walls of the ancient Akragas, between the Temple of Concordia and that of Heracles and called it "Villa Aurea" in honor of the nearby Porta Aurea.
Sir Hardcastle thus spends all his possessions to recover the archaeological area, financing excavation and restoration campaigns, raising columns and purchasing land. His work made headlines around the world to the point of appearing on the cover of the Times with the temples behind it. An event changes the course of his life: the collapse of Wall Street which makes him suddenly poor. Sir Hardcastle thus falls into a deep depression which will drive him mad. Before being locked up in an asylum, where he died shortly thereafter, Hardcastle successfully completed a final business and sold Villa Aurea to the State, which today has become the representative office of the Archaeological Park.
Today the bronze bust placed in the garden of Villa Aurea recalls the great contribution this man made to the rebirth of one of the largest and most fascinating archaeological sites in the Mediterranean