Thankfully no tourists are allowed in the Colosseum just before dawn. Last Sunday, a chunk of mortar came falling down, buckling the netting whose job it was to protect the tourists below. Sadly this is not the first time this has happened in Rome (or in many other places in the world). Parts of Nero's Palace and the Palatine have also crumbled, and Rome is scrambling for the dollars to be able to fix these monuments before someone is seriously injured, or killed. In light of Sunday's collapse, a $8.4 million emergency restoration plan has been put in place.
"This ambitious project, set to begin later this month, again includes a much-needed exterior cleaning and replacement of key support structures - including new metal bands that hold some of the marble in place. Stone archways will be reinforced and safety netting under the fragile ancient ceilings will be updated. The area around the Colosseum will also be cordoned off, and pedestrian traffic near the monument will be restricted in case of further collapse during the work. In 2000, the city of Rome installed a gladiator exhibit on the second tier, complete with elevator and gift shop. Now, the museum and elevator will likely be removed, and parts of the ancient ampitheater will be permanently closed to the public. Plans to open the third tier and the subterranean tunnel system to attract even more visitors were also in the works before last Sunday's collapse. Those areas will likely now never be accessible to the public."
Read the entire article on Newsweek.com here.