It wasn't cleaned in a day
a project is removing centuries of grime to restore Rome, Italy's ancient Colosseum
“It needs a huge amount of attention to detail. It's all being done by hand.”
—Pia Petrangeli, architect, Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Rome, Italy to The Telegraph
Millennia after hosting Roman emperors and gladiators, the Colosseum was in need of a wash. And though bureaucratic and funding issues initially delayed a project to give the almost 2,000-year-old amphitheater in Rome, Italy its first-ever scrubbing, they were sidestepped after a billionaire businessman donated €25 million in 2011.
Centuries of decay and more than 6 million annual visitors have made washing the iconic structure a painstaking process. The Colosseum has remained open during the project, so the 10-person team has to work on small sections at a time to avoid obstructing too many views. They are slowly making a clockwise journey around the amphitheater, using hundreds of jets of water to gently spray away centuries of grime.
“We don't want to do a face-lift, just a cleaning,” Rossella Rea, director of the Colosseum, told The Telegraph. “It is important to retain the marks of the past.” The project is slated to be completed in October.
The project team is armed with toothbrushes to clean narrow cracks in stone.
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