May 8, 2021

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Floor of the Colosseum in Rome where gladiators fought to the death to restore it to its former glory


It comes down to the future of the Colosseum in Rome: tourists get to see the gladiator as the floor of the fatal arena has been restored in a high-tech facelift worth £ 16 million

  • The floor of the historic Colosseum in Rome is to be restored to its former glory
  • The Italian Minister of Culture promised visitors to “see the majesty of the monument.”
  • The £ 16 million project will build and install a retractable plaza floor by 2023

The floor of the Colosseum in Rome is set to be restored to its former glory, giving visitors a glimpse of the gladiator’s eye into the “grandeur” of the ancient amphitheater.

Italy’s Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini, announced yesterday a £ 16million contract to reclaim the arena floor that will enable people to stand where legendary fighters once fought wild animals and each other to death.

Milan Ingegneria engineering has won a tender to construct and install a retractable wooden apron floor, with the project due to be completed in two years.

An artist's impression of what the final floor of the Colosseum in Rome will look like in two years

The before and after photos show the Colosseum in Rome now and what it would look like upon restoration of its former glory

The project – scheduled for completion in 2023 – is reversible, meaning it could 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 square again.”

The new floor consists of wooden slats fastened to a grid of rails. The slats rotate 90 °, allowing them to be assembled to reveal the bottom of the old structure.

The moving system will be able to quickly cover or expose underground structures to protect them from rain or allow them to be ventilated.

The Colosseum – made famous in the 2000 movie Gladiator starring Russell Crowe – reopened to visitors last Monday.

The iconic structure was constructed during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and completed under the rule of his successor Titus in AD 80.

The new floor consists of wooden slats fastened to a grid of rails.  The slats rotate 90 °, allowing them to be assembled to reveal the bottom of the old structure

The new floor consists of wooden slats fastened to a grid of rails. The slats rotate 90 °, allowing them to be assembled to reveal the bottom of the old structure

Restoring the ancient floor is another step forward towards rebuilding the square, according to the Italian Ministry of Culture

Restoring the ancient floor is another step forward towards rebuilding the square, according to the Italian Ministry of Culture

The artist's impression shows how the slide system will allow visitors to walk around the Colosseum

The artist’s impression shows how the slide system will allow visitors to walk around the Colosseum

A bird's eye view of the Colosseum Center and the proposed system.  The original stage existed until the nineteenth century

A bird’s eye view of the Colosseum Center and the proposed system. The original stage existed until the nineteenth century

The original stage existed until the nineteenth century when it was removed for archaeological excavations at the subterranean levels of the ancient structure.

The amphitheater once had a wooden floor covered with sand over a network of tunnels and waiting rooms for fighters.

The floor was removed in the 19th century so that architects could excavate the levels beneath.

Aerial view of the Colosseum, including the semi-circular viewing platform that overlooks its historical foundations

Aerial view of the Colosseum, including the semi-circular viewing platform that overlooks its historical foundations

Includes a restoration project

The restoration project includes “innovative building techniques, use of appropriate materials and refined analysis methodologies”

The floor of the historic Colosseum in Rome is to be replaced in a project that will cost at least £ 16m

The floor of the historic Colosseum in Rome is to be replaced in a project that will cost at least £ 16m

Russell Crowe was portrayed as Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 film Gladiator.  A near-complete replica of the Colosseum in Malta was built for the movie

Russell Crowe was portrayed as Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 film Gladiator. A near-complete replica of the Colosseum in Malta was built for the movie

A wrestling battle at the Colosseum in Rome, as shown in an 1872 oil painting by John Leon Jerome of France

A wrestling battle at the Colosseum in Rome, as shown in an 1872 oil painting by John Leon Jerome of France’s “Police Verso”

The Colosseum reopened to visitors last Monday as the Yellow Zone was created

The Colosseum reopened to visitors last Monday as the Yellow Zone was created

Visitors at Colloseum are asking for directions as it finally reopens after 41 days of lockdown due to Covid

Visitors at Colloseum are asking for directions as it finally reopens after 41 days of lockdown due to Covid

The number of visitors to the historic site is limited to 1,260 per day, compared to the number of regular site visitors of 25,000 in the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

The number of visitors to the historic site is limited to 1,260 per day, compared to the number of regular site visitors of 25,000 in the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

It was opened for the public to see an underground area in 2010 and the new phase will be able to cover or reveal underground networks.

Mr Franceschini said the theater would also be able to host cultural events.

The Colosseum reopened to the public a week ago after a 41-day lockdown due to ongoing epidemiological restrictions.

Officials have established a one-way route as part of safety measures, while the number of visitors is also limited to 1,260 per day, compared to up to 25,000 per day in 2019, before the pandemic spread.

Colosseum of Rome

Pictured: The Colosseum in Rome

Pictured: The Colosseum in Rome

The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheater – the largest ever – located in the center of Rome.

It was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed under the rule of his successor Titus in AD 80.

It is believed that it could have held between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, who could watch gladiatorial fighting shows, hunting wildlife, acrobatics, and executions by the beast.

Some accounts indicate that early in its history, the arena could have been flooded by using water from an adjacent canal, to reactivate naval battles.

However, this practice may have been discontinued after Emperor Domitian ordered the building of a “hyogium” – the elaborate infrastructure beneath the plaza floor that would have housed animals, props, and slaves.

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