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New Floor for Rome's Colosseum

After 2,000 years, the magnificent amphitheatre is about to get a smart new floor.

While most of Rome's great amphitheater has survived remarkably well for two millennia, its flooring has not been so lucky. The main floor of the massive over 50,000-seater arena has mostly disappeared, leaving the rooms and corridors below ground open to the elements - rooms where gladiators and wild animals were kept before their deadly fights, Reuters reports.

The impressive Colosseum, known as the Flavian Amphitheater when it first opened in AD 80, measures some 190m by 155m (620 by 513 feet), and back in its day, it was the largest amphitheater in the Roman world. Recently, archaeologists removed the last crumbling parts of flooring.

In a bid to bring back the Colosseum's former glory with a modern twist, Italy's Culture Ministry announced on 2 May that it was commissioning an engineering firm to carry out the project and hopes to complete it by 2023.

The project involves adding a wooden platform that covers the entire arena's main floor, which will enable visitors to walk across it and view the Colosseum as gladiators once did. Images from the 2000 movie Gladiator spring to mind as Russell Crow as Maximus Decimus Meridius battles for his life as excited Roman crowds roar above head.

This wooden platform will come in the form of hundreds of movable slats that can rotate to allow ventilation and light to the underground rooms. Shown in mesmerizing detail in the engineering firm's YouTube video, the wooden flooring platform looks to add value to the entire Colosseum's new look. The video is in Italian but you will still glean a good understanding of what the undertaking involves.


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