Rome, May 2 - A regional audit court has launched an investigation into the delayed construction of Rome's metro C line over concerns surrounding the foundation of the Colosseum and rising public costs, Italian heritage and environmental group Italia Nostra said Thursday. The probe comes "following our serious concerns announced April 12," said the group, citing the "chance that the stability of the Colosseum could be at risk, that construction costs could rise, and that the economy and tourism to the city could be damaged". Last year the national audit court said in a 182-page report that Rome's newest subway line appeared destined to become the slowest and most expensive construction project in Italian and European Union history and risked not being finished. Building the C line, Rome's third underground track, has cost the city over five billion euros - three billion more than initially forecast when building began in 1990. It was originally slated for completion in 2000 when millions came to Rome to celebrate the Catholic Church's Year of Jubilee. "It's not the fault of one single project or of the person who managed it. This project includes every challenge imaginable - institutional, procedural and technical," Audit Court President Luigi Giampaolino said last year. Administrators point out that building a subway line in the ancient city is particularly difficult due to the endless trove of artefacts underground that must be excavated before construction can proceed.
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di Giovanni Pastore