Rome Colosseum: Ancient landmark to get new floor with gladiator’s view

Last updated at 05:46
People visit Rome's ancient ColosseumReuters
Rome's ancient Colosseum has not had an arena floor since the 19th Century

Rome's ancient Colosseum will get a brand new floor as part of plans announced by the Italian government.

It will give visitors the chance to stand where gladiators once fought each other in battle.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced the project to build the wooden, retractable floor on Sunday.

The floor, which is being designed by Italian company Milan Ingegneria, is expected to be finished by 2023.

Rome's ancient ColosseumGetty Images
Rome's ancient Colosseum has been largely deserted for most of the coronavirus pandemic

The 2,000-year-old monument has no floor at the moment.

It was removed by archaeologists in the 19th Century, exposing the underground network of tunnels where gladiators and animals were held before the Roman sports began.

Mr Franceschini said the "extraordinary" new floor would allow visitors to "see the majesty of the Colosseum" from its centre.

"It's another step forward toward rebuilding the arena, an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archaeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum," Mr Franceschini said.

An artist's impression of the new floorDario Franceschini
The culture minister tweeted out a graphic showing an artist's impression of the new floor

The winning design involves installing hundreds of wooden slats that can be rotated to allow natural light and air into the underground chambers.

While the coronavirus pandemic has limited tourism, the Colosseum remains one of Italy's most famous landmarks.

Before the pandemic struck, the monument attracted about 7.6 million people in 2019.

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