Colosseum to undergo restoration

Wed, Aug 1, 2012, 01:00

Rome’s Colosseum might be leaning slightly but its stability is not in danger, according to officials who have announced that the ancient amphitheatre is about to undergo its first comprehensive restoration in 73 years.

An Italian newspaper reported at the weekend that the Colosseum, famous for hosting bloody gladiator fights in the days of the Roman Empire, was about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, suggesting it was in danger. The Italian media described it as the “leaning tower of Pisa effect”.

“There is no problem with its stability,” said Mariarosaria Barbera, Rome’s archaeological superintendent.

“We are talking about a structure whose foundations are 13m deep. Roman constructions do not only stand up to centuries, they stand up to millennia. We are monitoring it but there is no Tower of Pisa effect.”

Ms Barbera was speaking at the unveiling of the €25 million restoration project which will start in December and end in 2015. The project will include the cleaning and restoration of the entire Colosseum.