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No-go zone around Colosseum?

Idea follows ban of tourist buses in the historic city centre

It’s one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, a first century relic that attracts millions of visitors each year.


But now, it has been revealed authorities in Rome are mulling over the creation of a no-go zone around the Colosseum to deter vandals and intruders.


The revelation comes after two Brazilian tourists tried to climb over a four-metre gate to access the Colosseum, leaving one man in hospital, and an act of vandalism that saw the words "Balto" and "Morte" (death) spray-painted on a pillar. 


“The area would be separated not by physical barriers but rather by chains defining the zone where video surveillance would be installed,” Colosseum and Roman Forum special superintendent Francesco Prosperetti told La Repubblica about the proposal.


“The red zone would reproduce that of ancient Rome, with a radius of about 15 metres.”


Perhaps not the kind of reproduction tourists would want though.


According to the superintendent, there is currently not enough staff to maintain night surveillance of the monument, which is undergoing comprehensive restoration and upgrades.


Rome bans tourist buses from city centre


The plan comes as the Italian government searches for a new manager for the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hill in an attempt to bring more tourists to the attractions.


While critics have voiced concerns the historic sites could become “Disneyfied”, the government remains committed to shaking up the dusty museums and drawing more crowds, The Times reported.


“The Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine are together the most important urban archaeological site in the world and we are aiming for a top candidate; someone who knows Rome, archaeology and management,” culture minister Dario Franceschini said.


“We will also consider Italians, but international experience is preferred.”


Among the new features authorities hope to introduce to the Colosseum are hosted events, like musicals, on a resurfaced arena.   


“The whole area has huge potential, from plans to keep the Forum lit and open until midnight to the new restaurant built in a 17th-century building on the Palatine Hill which will give 360-degree views of the whole area and have no equal in the world,” Mr Franceschini said.


What do you think of the plans to commercialise this area?


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 January 2017

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