That reports Reuters news agency. The construction consists of hundreds of boards that, like blinds, can be tilted so that natural light can still enter the underground spaces.
The 2,000-year-old Colosseum, built at the initiative of the Roman Emperor Vespasian and consecrated by his son and successor Titus, currently has no arena floor. As a result, the underground part is still visible, except for a small part.
“It is an extraordinary project,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, presenting plans for the flexible. The new floor should give visitors a clearer idea of what the arena would have looked like when the gladiators fought there.
Floor once removed by archaeologists
The view of the stands of the Colosseum in Rome from the center of the arena was once reserved for gladiators and death row inmates, but will soon be admired by tourists.
“You will soon be able to walk up to the center of the Colosseum, in the same way that visitors were used to until the late 1800s,” said Franceschini. The floor was once removed by archaeologists to get a better idea of the labyrinth of rooms and corridors that lay beneath the arena floor. The floor was never replaced.
An Italian engineering firm will make the new floor, which will cost 18.5 million euros. The job should be done by 2023.
The Colosseum is Italy’s most popular tourist attraction, attracting around 7.6 million visitors in 2019 before the corona crisis. The stone arena was built 2,000 years ago and was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. It used to seat up to 70,000 and hosted gladiator fights, executions and animal hunts. The structure could also be filled with water to play out naval battles.
Franceschini hopes to hold the G20 culture summit that is planned in Rome in the Colosseum in July. The intention is that the building will also be used for other major cultural events.
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