Monday, January 02, 2012

Colosseum May Be a Fixer-Upper but It's Not Collapsing, Italian Officials Say

http://archaeology.tumblr.com/post/14919267670/colosseum

Italian archaeology officials on Wednesday played down Italian news reports that chunks of masonry had been falling off the Colosseum. "Nothing has collapsed" at the Colosseum "since the 18th century," said a statement issued by a department of the Culture Ministry responsible for Rome's archaeological sites. The Colosseum, the first-century A.D. arena, is Italy's most popular tourist draw.

The statement was issued after culture ministry officials used a crane to peruse up close an area of the massive structure where bits of plaster were said to have detached and fallen on Tuesday, according to news reports. On Christmas Day tourists found small fragments of tufo, the porous rock typical of ancient Roman monuments, on the ground. Anna Maria Moretti, the official responsible for the ancient sites, denied that any material had fallen Tuesday and noted that the tufo that detached on Dec. 25 came from a patch smaller than "five centimeters."