Friday, May 01, 2009

Restoration of the Colosseum: feedback requested

Dear readers,

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?
I really am not trying to cause a dust up, here. It is May Day, and I am killing a little time and genuinely curious to hear your thoughts.


puellapaschalis said...

I think it might mean on what was meant by restoration and renovation. From what you say it doesn't seem as though it's so deeply embedded in the "Catholic mind" as a place of persecution compared to others, but if it's still recognisable as the place it was, and if the Stations can still be held there without too much inconvenience on either party's side, I don't think a "freshening-up" would be a bad thing. It's important to learn about history, and the ancient structures are a part of that.

Lazy Disciple said...

Thanks for chiming in, Puella!

The place does need a face lift.

That said, we ought to try to lear more about the history of the place.

I'll try to dig some things up and post them.