Metro row raises new fears for Colosseum
A ROW over the future of Rome’s metro is threatening to delay urgent work to stabilise the Colosseum, adding to fears for the ancient amphitheatre after Italy’s recent earthquakes caused troubling cracks in exterior walls.
The 2000-year-old, partly ruined structure was allocated 4 million euros (US$4.4 million) in 2014 to carry out reinforcements deemed necessary to offset the impact of tunneling for a new underground train line which will pass close by.
But the money was never released and guardians of the city’s architectural heritage now fear it never will be after new mayor Virginia Raggi announced she plans to dissolve the underground company, Roma Metropolitana.
“By liquidating Roma Metropolitana, the mayor has left us without anyone to deal with regarding the financing needed for the urgent strengthening of the Colosseum,” a spokesperson for the superintendent of the city’s archaelogical treasures told AFP.
The superintendent himself, Francesco Prosperetti, has warned that he will seek to block any further work on the still-unfinished metro extension if the funds are not released.
“The Colosseum cannot wait any longer,” Mr Prosperetti told Italian media.
“As a citizen I would not like to delay the metro but as the defender of this monument I may not have any choice.”
Ms Raggi has said work on the metro project will continue with new management progressively replacing Roma Metropolitana, an organisation she has accused of overseeing the “shameful squandering of public funds.”
The new line is supposed to run from the city centre to the eastern suburbs. Most of it opened last year but the final section, which will bring it into the Colosseum area and connect with the capital’s two other metro lines, remains unfinished. –