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Italy plans new floor for Colosseum

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Published: 15:51, 3 May 2021  
Italy plans new floor for Colosseum

A person rides a bike in front of the Colosseum as Rome becomes a `red zone`, going into lockdown, as the country struggles to reduce COVID-19 infections, in Rome, Italy, March 15, 2021 [Yara Nardi/Re

The ancient Roman Colosseum will once again have a floor thanks to a new, hi-tech project which Italy’s culture ministry has announced.

“It is an extraordinary project,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said on Sunday as he explained plans to create a flexible floor to give visitors a better sense of how the arena would have looked when gladiators fought to the death in front of crowds of spectators and dignitaries.

“It will allow you to see the majesty of the Colosseum from the centre (of the arena),” he said in a tweet in which he also shared a simulation of what the new floor will look like.

The last floor was removed by archaeologists in the 19th century so they could get a better look at  the labyrinth of rooms and corridors that lay below the arena.

It was never fully replaced and people are only able to walk around the edges of the building and look down on the ruins of the underground chambers where gladiators and animals awaited their brutal contest.

An Italian engineering firm, Milan Ingegneria, won the 18.5 million euro ($22.2 million) contract to design the new flooring and has promised to complete the project by 2023.

The wooden platform will be made up of hundreds of slats that can be rotated to bring natural light into the underground rooms.

The Colosseum is Italy’s most popular tourist attraction, and drew some 7.6 million visitors in 2019, before the coronavirus struck.

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