Sunday, January 11, 2009

ROMAN FORUM WILL GET A MAKEOVER

The glories of Ancient Rome are to get a total makeover over the next two years, officials said this week.

The famed architectural sights will then be illuminated by a new lighting system, they said. Sites set for ''a complete clean-up'' include the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, the Roman and Imperial Forums and Nero's Golden House, said Heritage Undersecretary Francesco Giro.

Long-awaited projects such as an underpass linking the forums and a new walkway up to the Palatine are part of the scheme which aims to restore Rome's ancient splendour by the spring of 2011.

Unsightly scaffolding, rusty fences and open digs will be cleared away ''so that the central archaeological area regains all its sumptuous beauty,'' Giro said.

The ''crowning touch,'' he said, would be an ''integrated'' illumination system for the entire area.

Giro said the culture ministry hoped to have the lights in place for the 2,764th anniversary of Rome's traditional founding date, April 21 753 BC.

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