Rome

Colosseum project to go ahead after final appeal rejected

Consumers group against restoration project by Tod's

Colosseum project to go ahead after final appeal rejected

Rome, July 31 - The longstanding fight by consumer group Codacons against a corporate-funded restoration of Rome's iconic Colosseum appeared to reach an end Wednesday, when an appeals body rejected the group's final appeal. The Council of State ruling clears the way for the 25-million euro restoration work on the mighty Colosseum, which is close to 2,000 years old and feeling its age. The project has been controversial because it will be privately financed by Diego Della Valle, owner of upscale shoe manufacturer Tod's. Codacons has had a long-running legal complaint that the bidding process on the project lacked transparency and yielded too many concessions to Della Valle. Earlier this month, the monument's director said that everything was ready for work on the Colosseum to begin, starting with cleaning and restoration of external surfaces to deal with damage wrought by pollution and decades of weather systems. It's expected that 10 arches at a time will be covered in scaffolding for recovery work. The Roman superintendency of archaeology already began work in January to create a safety zone around the ancient Roman arena to prevent injuries from possible falling materials. Begun in 72 AD, the Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

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