The Italian Minister of Culture announced plans to furnish Rome’s ancient monument Colosseum with a new floor.
The 18.5 million euro ($22.2 million) contract to design the floor was won by Italian engineering firm Milan Ingegneria. The 3,000 square metre (32,300 square feet) floor is expected to be finished by 2023.
The floor of the 2,000-year-old monument was removed by archaeologists in the 19th Century to have a better look at the structure that lay below the arena. Since then the underground network of tunnels where gladiators and animals waited before the gladiatorial contests, lay exposed.
The Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini said, “It’s another step forward towards rebuilding the arena, an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum and its quality as a complex scenographic machine.” He further informed that cultural events could be held in the Colosseum once the floor had been restored to its former glory.
In his Tweet, The Culture Minister shared a simulation of what the floor would look like once it is restored.
Il #Colosseo tornerà ad avere la sua arena. Dopo anni di studi è stato proclamato il progetto vincitore. Sarà reversibile, consentirà di visitare i sotterranei e di vedere la maestosità del Colosseo dal centro, come è stato per secoli sino a fine ‘800 https://t.co/DG6UOKRcB4 pic.twitter.com/dI9XtY9dxV
— Dario Franceschini (@dariofrance) May 2, 2021
The plan is to build an entirely removable structure made of accoya, a modified, durable wood. The platform is to be made up of hundreds of slats that can be rotated to allow natural light to enter the underground rooms. Once the floor is finished, the visitors can see the majestic ancient monument from the centre of the arena. Visitors will also be allowed to enter the underground chambers as well.
The Colosseum is the largest standing amphitheater in the world today. The oval amphitheatre is situated in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. The Colosseum which could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology. Though ruined, the Colosseum still stands high as an iconic symbol of the mighty Roman Empire. It was listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Colosseum is Italy’s most popular tourist spot and it attracted about 7.6 million people in 2019 before the covid pandemic struck and travel restricted.