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Colosseum restoration plan gets roar of approval

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The Italian culture ministry is moving ahead with plans to turn the Colosseum in Rome back into an entertainment venue by relaying its wooden floor. “Rebuilding the Colosseum as it was until the 19th century is a way to protect the monument and we will do it,” announced the culture minister Dario Franceschini earlier this year at a conference. Daniele Manacorda, an archaeology professor at Roma Tre university, wrote in 2014 that without the sand-covered wooden floor on which gladiators and wild animals battled 2,000 years ago, the excavated arena is “a labyrinth as incomprehensible as it is inaccessible”, with exposed corridors and cells that once housed animals and slaves. Franceschini said that money raised through television broadcasts of performances at the reconstructed Colosseum could fund the restoration of other Roman archaeological sites.