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Rome’s Colosseum to be fitted with new arena floor

Rome’s famous Colosseum is set for a revamp after Milan Ingegneria was awarded rights to design and construct a new hi-tech arena-style floor.

The Italian Culture Ministry revealed details of the project on Sunday and it is hoped the revamp of the historic venue will protect its archaeological structure.

The floor of the Colosseum, which is almost 2,000 years old, has not been fully replaced since archaeologists removed it to examine the underground rooms that lay beneath the arena. It is hoped that the revamp can be completed by 2023.

The project is set to cost around €15m (£13m/$18m) and will feature an Accoya wood design, which has been selected for its resistance and durability. The material is also viewed as a sustainable choice.

Some portions of the new floor will be built with mobile panels, which will guarantee flexibility and make it possible to open underground structures for natural lighting. The Italian Culture Ministry said that 24 mechanical ventilation units will be distributed along the perimeter of the floor and will control the temperature and humidity of the underground rooms.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini told the Reuters news agency: “It is an extraordinary project. You will be able to walk on it and go to the centre of the Colosseum, seeing it in the same way as visitors used to up to the end of the 19th century.”

The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, with 7.6 million people visiting the arena in 2019. The historical landmark, which completed construction in AD 80, had a capacity of 70,000 at its peak and was used to host gladiator fights, executions and other events.

Plans to transform the arena floor have been in the works since 2014.

Image: Italian Culture Ministry