It’s been two years since the decision was made to restore Rome’s Colosseum and it is finally scheduled to begin this month. Funded by the CEO of Tod’s, a toney Italian leather goods manufacturer, the 25 million euro (about $32.5 million dollar) project will take between 2 and 3 years. In return for his generosity, Diego Delle Valle, Tod’s CEO and president, will get advertising rights for 15 years.
Fragments of the 2000 year old have icon have been falling off for years and it is now thought that it is also leaning about 16 inches. There is a plan in place for the monument to be encircled by cast iron columns 15 – 50 feet from the structure in order to protect tourists from falling pieces. As for the listing, Engineers suspect it might be caused by a break in the concrete slab on which the Colosseum was built.
In addition to the restoration of the siding, new gates and the shoring up of parts of the underground areas and pathways, the whole structure will receive a thorough scrubbing to remove the blackened layer due to air pollution.
The Colosseum will stay open during the work and at the end of the refurbishment, about 25% more of the arena will be open to the public.
There has been some controversy about the funding of the project. It’s been over 70 years since anything has been done to the Colosseum and since that time, the structure has fallen on hard times: pollution, traffic, more tourists and 2 subway lines (causing the structure to shake). The Italian government has not been able to come up with the funds and, even though we may see more about Tod’s shoes, I think it’s worth it. To me saving a 2000-year-old structure is worth the expenditure of 15 years. The longer a deteriorating monument goes without some shoring up, the more expensive it will be.
What do you think? Weigh in and let everyone know what you think.