Rome’s Colosseum To Be Rebuilt To Become A Hub For Cultural Events

“The arena will be used for high culture, meaning concerts or theatre,” Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum, adds, “but no gladiator shows.”

Jan 04, 2021 | By Joseph Low

Rome was once thought to be the centre of the world and from this majestic city, roads are created to establish a vast network of trading routes, connecting various cities to the capital. And here was how the phrase “all roads lead to Rome” came about. Life within the ancient city was not easy despite its glorious facade. The common man has to work incredibly hard to make ends meet and the Roman emperor Vespasian understands that his citizens need a break once in a while if not a potential revolt ensues, so he constructed the Colosseum where people can enjoy themselves.

The ground level is where all the action takes place. Enslaved fighters emerge from below, almost magically, where they will fight with exotic beasts captured from around the world — only one survivor is allowed. Beneath the sand-covered floor is an extensive labyrinth of secret tunnels, hypogeum, which are now exposed for visitors to see. Besides hosting gladiator fights, the Colosseum was also used for various activities such as chariot racing and concerts. It is a site that is filled with immense cultural significance because of its storied history. 

Image by Henry Paul

Now, there are plans to rebuild this heritage site with the Italian government pledging almost US$12 million towards the installation of new infrastructures. According to Smithsonian, it is said that “a new, retractable floor that will restore the amphitheatre to its gladiator-era glory” is being considered and its other usage will be to shield the tunnels from harsh conditions.

With the specifics in mind, Rome is now seeking design proposals from design teams to rebuild the Colosseum into a place for cultural events such as concerts and theatre performances. Per BBC News, interested parties can submit their ideas to the culture ministry by February 1 and they hope to complete the project by 2023.

All images courtesy of Calvin Craig/ Getty Images

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