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Rome Approves Plans to Renovate Colosseum Arena

Rome Approves Plans to Renovate Colosseum Arena

Wednesday, 12 May, 2021 - 04:15
Restorers work inside the Colosseum in Rome, June 1, 2020. (AP Photo)

Visitors would soon have the chance to stand where gladiators once fought in the Colosseum, thanks to a new wooden, retractable floor. A board of experts has backed a proposal presented by a Milan-based architecture firm for this project, announced the ministry of culture in a recent virtual press meeting.

According to the schemes, the Colosseum's underground chambers will be covered with wooden slats that can be retracted when needed.

"It's another step forward toward rebuilding the arena, an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archaeological structures of the Colosseum," said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.

The renovation project is worth 18.4 million euros, and it is set to finish in 2023.

According to the schemes, many individual slats will be installed in an accordion-like structure that can be rotated and retracted within 30 minutes.

The structure is aimed at allowing air into the underground chambers, and enabling visitors to take a look at them. In December, Franceschini called interested firms to submit proposals for the renovation of the center floor in the Colosseum, to allow visitors to walk into the arena where gladiators partook in bloody battles 1,000 years ago.

The landmark had a genius open/close system that enabled lifting objects or animals from the ground floor to the roof during the battles.

Established between 70 and 80 A.D., the Colosseum can house up to 50,000 people. It had an inner floor for a long time, but it was removed to uncover the chambers below it.

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