The stage is set for a £ 16million facelift that will give a gladiator’s view of the Colosseum
Italy on Sunday approved plans for a new lightweight, high-tech arena inside the Colosseum in Rome, setting the stage for cultural events to once again take place in the iconic and beloved wonder of the world. “This is one more step towards the reconstruction of the arena,” said Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Culture, during a press conference announcing the contract of 18.5 million euros (16 million euros). sterling) to construct and install a unique, retractable timber structure. The ambitious project will allow visitors to have a new central vantage point to “see the majesty of the monument,” said Franceschini, as well as restore the destination of the Colosseum as a staging area for important events . Future entertainment at the Colosseum will undoubtedly be much more docile than the shows retained when the Roman Empire extended from the North Sea to the Sahara. Construction was started on the elliptical amphitheater in AD 70 by Emperor Vespasian. It was built to accommodate 80,000 spectators, and for 400 years the Romans gathered there for the entertainment of the day: executions, animal hunts, theatrical reenactments and brutal gladiatorial fights where men and women fought, often until ‘to death. Although dozens of Roman amphitheatres survived the decline of the empire, most are in a sorry state of disrepair. Scientists, engineers and craftsmen have been cleaning, repairing and restoring the Colosseum in Rome for six years, funded by public-private collaborations. The stripping of centuries of grime gave the monument a historic facelift, but its scene was still missing, having been removed in the 1800s for archaeological digs in the underground labyrinth beneath the old structure.