Visitors to the Colosseum in the next two and a half years will have to view the iconic monument through layers of scaffolding. This is down to extensive restoration work that will take place in an attempt to repair the crumbling site.
Approximately six million tourists visit Rome's Colosseum every year, and it is the largest amphitheatre ever to be built in the Roman Empire. However, travellers to Rome will see the Colosseum transformed into a building site when the £20 million scheme begins later in 2012. In spite of this, attempts will be made not to disrupt visitors and culture officials have pressed that the Colosseum must not shut to the public during the course of the maintenance.
Officials have called for the overhaul stating that the enormous elliptical arena has been eroding for years and hunks of stone often fall from the structure. Once the initiative is complete, holidaymakers journeying to Italy will be able to marvel at new entrances, a rebuilt façade and revamped underground cells. Likewise authorities say that the Colosseum is leaning 40cm on the south side, although this will not be the main focus of the work. Holiday-goers will equally benefit from the work as a tourist service centre will be built outside the monument.
Travellers to Italy were affected by the decade-long closure of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was reopened in 2001 once renovations made it safe for visitors. No plans have been announced to fully close the Colosseum to the public, although Britons journeying to Rome could witness similar restoration on other monuments in the near future; Italy's culture minister, Lorenzo Ornaghi, declared that the programme could spark further protection projects on Italy's other cultural sites.
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