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Last year, a €25 million restoration project was agreed for the Colosseum in Rome. The work will take up to two and a half years and is being sponsored by Diego Della Valle, founder of italian company Tod’s which make shoes and leather goods (let’s hope it doesn’t get re-named ‘Tod’s Stadium’ eh?!)

But concern has been raised over whether potential ‘cowboy builders’ are being used to restore the Colosseum. In December, Carla Tomasi of the Restorers Association of Italy, asked for the project to be looked into amid concerns of contractors being used with no specialist knowledge of working on such a site.

Tomasi said “Having some of the best restorers in the world in Italy and yet turning to general enterprises is a choice that we do not share, and embarrasses both our work and the image of our nation in the world, in addition to causing risks to the monument.”

But in late December a ruling by Italy’s Council of State was given for the work to continue, with the Director of the Colosseum stating that the workers were specialised in restoration and that the work was not being compromised.

Warnings have been given though that although restoration and cleaning is needed, there is major concern about the underlying factors affecting the building, such as the traffic which flows around the site causing such major pollution. It is hoped that at some point in the future a subway could be built and traffic stopped on the roads surrounding the Colosseum.


A panorama of the interior of the Colosseum in 2011

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