For Rome’s Colosseum, it’s back to the future: tourists get gladiatorial sight while the floor of the deadly arena is restored in a £ 16 million high-tech facelift
- The floor of the historic Colosseum in Rome is to be restored to its former glory
- The Italian Minister of Culture promised the visitors “to see the majesty of the monument”.
- The £ 16 million project will build and install a retractable arena floor by 2023
The floor of the Colosseum in Rome is to be restored to its former glory so that visitors can see the “majesty” of the ancient amphitheater from the perspective of a gladiator.
Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini yesterday announced a £ 16 million contract to restore the arena floor, allowing people to stand where legendary fighters once fought wild animals and each other to the death.
The engineering office Milan Ingegneria has been awarded the contract to build and install a retractable wooden floor. The project should be completed in two years.
Before and after pictures show Rome’s Colosseum now and what it will look like when it returns to its former glory
The project, due to be completed in 2023, is reversible and can be removed if plans for the Colosseum change in the future.
Mr Franceschini said: “In 2023 we will have the splendor of the Colosseum with its arena again.”
The new floor will consist of wooden slats attached to a rail network. The slats rotate 90 degrees so they can be bundled together to expose the bottom of the old structure.
The mobile system will be able to quickly cover or expose the underlying underground structures, both to protect them from rain and to ventilate them.
The Colosseum, which was made famous in the 2000 film Gladiator starring Russell Crowe, reopened to visitors last Monday.
The iconic structure was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and completed under the rule of his successor Titus in AD 80.
The new floor will consist of wooden slats attached to a rail network. The slats rotate 90 degrees so they can be bundled together to expose the bottom of the old structure
According to the Italian Ministry of Culture, restoring the old floor is another step towards rebuilding the arena
The artistic impression shows how the lamellar system enables visitors to walk around the Colosseum
Bird’s eye view of the center of the Colosseum and the proposed system. The original stage existed until the 1800s
The original stage lasted until the 19th century when it was removed for archaeological excavations on the underground levels of the old structure.
The amphitheater once had a sand-covered wooden floor on a network of tunnels and waiting rooms for fighters.
The soil was removed in the 19th century to allow architects to excavate the levels below.
Aerial view of the Colosseum including the semicircular viewing platform overlooking the historic foundations
The restoration project includes “innovative construction techniques, use of suitable materials and refined analysis methods”.
Rome’s historic Colosseum is set to replace its floor in a project that is set to cost at least £ 16 million
Russell Crowe is pictured in the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 film Gladiator. A nearly complete replica of the Colosseum was built in Malta for the film
A gladiatorial fight in the Colosseum of Rome, as depicted in ‘Pollice Verso’, an 1872 oil painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme of France
The Colosseum reopened to visitors last Monday as a yellow zone was created in the region
Visitors to the Colloseum ask for directions as it has finally reopened after being closed for 41 days due to Covid
Visitors to the historic site are limited to 1,260 per day, compared to the usual 25,000 in the pre-2019 pandemic
It was opened to the public in 2010 to view the underground area and the new stage will be able to cover or expose the underground networks.
Cultural events can also take place on the stage, said Franceschini.
The Colosseum reopened to the public a week ago after a 41-day closure due to ongoing pandemic restrictions.
Officials have set a one-way route as part of security measures, while visitor numbers are limited to 1,260 per day, compared to 25,000 per day in 2019 before the pandemic.
THE COLOSSEUM OF ROME
Pictured: Rome’s Colosseum
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheater – the largest ever built – in the center of Rome.
Its structure was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and completed under the rule of his successor Titus in AD 80.
It is believed that it could have hosted between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators who saw shows of gladiator fights, wildlife hunts, acrobats, and beast executions.
Some reports suggest that at the beginning of its story it was possible to flood the arena with water from a nearby aqueduct to re-enact naval battles.
However, this practice was probably discontinued after Emperor Domitian ordered the construction of the “hypogeum” – the ornate substructure under the floor of the arena, in which animals, props and slaves would have been housed.