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The Colosseum in Rome will receive a new floor in a gladiatorial arena



Rome (CNN) – A new floor of the arena will be added to the iconic Colosseum of Rome to give visitors an idea of ​​what the ancient Italian structure looked like when gladiators fought there.

The project “will give us back the same vision from the stage of the monument that it had in antiquity,” Colosseum director Alfonsina Rousseau told a news conference on Sunday.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini hailed it as an “outstanding project” that would allow visitors to walk the new floor and go to the center of the Colosseum.

The floor will serve as a stage for cultural events and visitors will be able to see the monument as it was until the 1

9th century, Francescini added.

The former gladiator’s battlefield – first opened nearly 2,000 years ago, in 80 AD, the arena floor was removed in the 19th century by architects in hopes of examining its underground passages.

Milan Ingegneria, an Italian engineering firm, will lead the $ 22 million project (approximately 18.5 million euros), which should be completed by 2023.

The main goal of the project is “the protection and preservation of existing archaeological structures,” the Italian Ministry of Culture said in a press release Sunday.

“The complex underground system under the wooden pavement, thanks to hatches, lifts and mobile machines, allowed people, beasts and props to be brought to the floor of the arena,” Rousseau added.

Special emphasis is placed on sustainability with “incredibly lightweight” and durable materials that will be used during construction, the ministry said in a statement.

The building’s sustainability certificates will be further strengthened by the installation of a collection system that will use rainwater to power the monument’s public baths.

The flooring will be paved with carbon panels covered with Accoya wood. Some of the slats will rotate to send natural light to the underlying structures, the statement added.

The floor will have an area of ​​3000 square meters (about 32,300 square meters).

Massimiliano Milan, CEO of Milan Ingegneria, said: “The new structure will be completely reversible. If in 30, 50 or a hundred years it will be possible to restore the monument as it is now.”

Before the pandemic, the Colosseum attracted an average of 20,000 visitors a day with an annual record of over 7 million visitors.

The attraction was largely closed to the public during the coronavirus blockade in Italy and was recently opened to visitors on April 26.


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