Rome celebrated its 2762nd birthday on the 21st of last month.
During a ceremony to mark the occasion, Rome's mayor, Giovanni Alemanno, announced plans to begin a restoration of the Colosseum in a year's time, on Rome's 2763rd anniversary of the founding of the city.
For an English-language Italian wire service story with some of the background, click here.
The Colosseum does need work. It is more than an archaeological site, though. It is historically and culturally associated with the persecution of the Church at Rome, and is used for the Papal via crucis on Good Friday.
The recognition of the place as a sacred site is, as a matter of fact, a rather recent development.
Owned and run by civil authority, the Colosseum is presently a major tourist draw and revenue generator, and this is not a cause of friction or scandal.
So my questions are:
- When you think of the Colosseum, what comes to mind?
- How much of a say ought the Church have in the planning and execution of the restoration project?