Court gives green light for Colosseum restoration to start

Works could begin within months

Court gives green light for Colosseum restoration to start

Rome, February 6 - The region of Lazio's administrative court has given the green light for stalled restoration of Rome's Colosseum to begin. In recent weeks, Roman Mayor Gianni Alemanno has pressed hard for clearance to begin 25 million euros worth of work on the Italian landmark, to be financed by the Italian luxury shoemaker Tod's, and called upon on judges to issue a ruling. Alemanno responded with an enthusiastic "hurray!" to the court's decision on Tuesday. Italian consumer group Codacons filed a legal complaint against the Tod's-backed renovation plan for the Colosseum, claiming the bidding process lacked transparency and yielded too many concessions to Tod's in exchange. The regional administrative court ruled against Codacons' complaint last summer, but Codacons filed an appeal. Meanwhile the Roman Superintendency of Archeology began work in January to create a safety-zone around the ancient Roman arena to prevent injuries from possible falling materials. The press reported that pieces of facade and other bits fell with increasing frequency during 2012, also cited a fire department report from August that spoke of disintegrating stone material. The Colosseum is close to 2,000 years old and feeling its age. Begun in 72 AD, the Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is 189 meters by 156 meters and covers an area of 24,000 square meters. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, executions and re-enactments of mythological dramas.

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