Mausoleum of Rome's first emperor restored and ready to reopen

By Crispian Balmer ROME (Reuters) - After decades of neglect, one of ancient Rome's most important monuments, the mausoleum of the first emperor Augustus, has been restored and will reopen early next year, city officials announced on Friday. The mausoleum is the largest circular tomb in the world and was constructed in 28 BC near the banks of the river Tiber to house the remains of Augustus and his heirs, including the emperors Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius

Reuters December 19, 2020 00:11:45 IST
Mausoleum of Rome's first emperor restored and ready to reopen

Mausoleum of Romes first emperor restored and ready to reopen

By Crispian Balmer

ROME (Reuters) - After decades of neglect, one of ancient Rome's most important monuments, the mausoleum of the first emperor Augustus, has been restored and will reopen early next year, city officials announced on Friday.

The mausoleum is the largest circular tomb in the world and was constructed in 28 BC near the banks of the river Tiber to house the remains of Augustus and his heirs, including the emperors Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius.

"This is an historic moment," Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi told reporters, saying the site would open to tourists on March 1, with entrance free for all until April 21, the day the city marks its founding in 753 BC.

"To reopen a monument like this is a signal of hope as we look with good faith towards the future despite the uncertainties of the pandemic. We need to work for the future and maintain our traditions," she said.

Once one of the most magnificent buildings in the city, it underwent many changes after the fall of the Roman empire, at one point becoming a fortified castle, then a hanging garden and subsequently an amphitheatre for bullfighting and firework displays.

At the start of the last century it was transformed into a huge theatre for concerts and operas before the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini ordered the dismantling of the auditorium as he sought to restore the landmarks of ancient Rome.

The site fell into disrepair over the years, trees grew from the walls and rubbish filled the pathways.

All that has been cleared and the structure has been made safe thanks to a 10-million-euro ($12.25 million) restoration, partly financed by phone company TIM.

Augustus helped transform Rome into a world-class city with his infrastructure projects. On his deathbed, he reportedly said: "Marmoream relinquo, quam latericiam accepi" (I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble).

The original marble cladding that adorned his tomb was plundered centuries ago and a statue that once towered over the building has long vanished, but tourists will get the chance to glimpse its past glories thanks to virtual reality tours.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Cristiano Corvino; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

China calls for swift return of missing soldier held by India
World

China calls for swift return of missing soldier held by India

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has called for the swift return of a soldier it says is being held by Indian authorities after disappearing along the border.

Spaniards ski through Madrid as snow storm kills four
World

Spaniards ski through Madrid as snow storm kills four

MADRID (Reuters) - A storm in Spain killed four people, paralysed travel and blanketed the capital Madrid in so much snow on Saturday that skiers took to the main Gran Via thoroughfare. Forecasters warned of more havoc next week after Storm Filomena brought the heaviest snowfall in decades across central Spain. In the Madrid area, rescuers reached 1,500 people trapped in cars, while on the usually traffic-clogged Gran Via, residents snowboarded and pelted each other with snowballs as well as ski

More Capitol rioters in viral posts arrested, senator urges social media providers to keep data
World

More Capitol rioters in viral posts arrested, senator urges social media providers to keep data

By Rich McKay (Reuters) - Federal agents arrested two more Capitol Hill rioters whose images had gone viral, of one carrying off the House Speaker's lectern and another who wore horns and a fur pelt, while a top Democratic lawmaker called on mobile carriers to preserve social media content related to the carnage.