Istanbul (Agenzia Fides) - Turkish Mayor Zeynel Bakici, at the head of the town of Selcuk – where there is the archaeological site of the ancient city of Ephesus - has relauched plans to build the tallest statue in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary at the foot of Bulbul Dagi ("Hill of the Nightingale"). Selcuk - said the mayor according to Turkish sources consulted by Agenzia Fides – has applied to host the 2017 edition of the international Symposium on religious tourism and pilgrimages, and in this circumstance conventioneers may already find the imposing statue of the Mother of Christ.
The idea of building in that area an impressive Marian monument was launched last year by politician Cemil Seboy, a candidate of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the region of Izmir (Smyrna), always with the declared intent to encourage religious tourism and the influx of Christian pilgrims in that region of Turkey. Right on the "Hill of the Nightingale", overlooking the plain with the ruins of Ephesus, there is also the site of Meryem Ana Evi, the so-called "House of Mary", discovered in 1891 on the basis of the mystical revelations of Katharina Emmerich. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 24/02/2016