Rome

Colosseum restoration to start as soon as July

Work awaiting appeals rulings on 25-million-euro project

Colosseum restoration to start as soon as July

Rome, June 17 - A major restoration of the Colosseum may begin as soon as the first week of July, Rome authorities said Monday. Builders are awaiting the final word from the Council of State, Italy's highest administrative court, which must rule on two final appeals to the project. One of them was submitted by consumer group Codacons, which has a long-running legal complaint that the bidding process on the project lacked transparency and yielded too many concessions to Diego Della Valle, the owner of the Tod's shoe company behind the estimated 25-million-euro restoration. The other appeal was submitted by a contractor that lost its bid for the restoration. The Roman Superintendency of Archeology already began work in January to create a safety zone around the ancient Roman arena to prevent injuries from possible falling materials. 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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