Italian Government To Restore Ancient ColosseumItalian Government To Restore Ancient Colosseum

Italy has earmarked over US$ 20 million to rebuild the arena floor in the Colosseum where gladiators once fought wild beasts, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced. The idea is that the arena could be used once more to house events and perhaps even re-enactments of spectacular Roman-era shows, while the area below where the beasts, scenery and props were kept would be turned into a museum. The planned arena reconstruction will not affect 48-meters high Colosseum walls, which continue to break down.

The biggest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire, the Colosseum stands 48.5 meters high. In Rome times, up to 80 thousand spectators would throng there to see gladiator greats such as Carpophores -- who reportedly defeated a bear, lion, leopard and rhinoceros in one battle -- or cheer on mock sea battles held in the flooded arena. It now welcomes over six million visitors a year.

Besides the Italian Government, in Colosseum restoration are engaged also philanthropists. Long-delayed repairs, funded to the tune of US$ 27.8 million by Italian billionaire Diego Della Valle, began in 2013 and are expected to be finished in early 2016.

The Colosseum undertaking is just one of the country's US$ 89 million cultural maintenance projects, which includes US$ 20 million to update the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, $7.7 million to update Turin's Polo Reale museum, and $5.5 million to expedite the progress of Pisa's forthcoming museum of ancient ships.

Ancient Colosseum Arena Ancient Colosseum Arena
Ancient Colosseum Arena Ancient Colosseum Arena

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