Rome's Falling Arches
The landmarks that define this legendary city are in serious disrepair, the victims of monumental neglect, shrinking budgets and the wear and tear of Mother Nature and heavy-heeled visitors.
Rome's troubles exceed those found in many other archeologically rich locations because its historic center is not a roped-off museum but a vibrant, congested urban nucleus. People live and work among the ruins. The Circus Maximus, where charioteers once rumbled, is a park for dog-walkers and picnickers. Motor scooters zip under 2,000-year-old arches and cars jostle for space on imperial promenades. It's not unusual for Romans to have archeological digs in their backyards.
"Rome is still a living place," Bonnie Burnham, president of the nonprofit World Monuments Fund, said during a recent mission to the Italian capital. Preserving its heritage "presents a special set of contemporary needs and pressures" because of the coexistence of the modern and the ancient.
The Italian government is halfway through a vast, year-long engineering assessment of hundreds of archeological sites in the Eternal City, studying their condition and determining where the most urgent repair work should be done. Visitors to some of the sites could be in danger, officials say.
comments powered by Disqus
- ISIS is destroying both Shia and Sunni shrines and buildings in Mosul
- Study: Violent radicalism in UK isn't associated with poverty
- CONFIRMED: the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus (Nineveh, Mosul, Iraq) has been destroyed
- Chinese President Xi Jinping: Nobody can change history
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- Historian who calls bull&%$@ on July 4th parade causes controversy
- This is what motivated history students in high school and middle school can do!
- Obama to award National Humanities Medals to 3 historians
- Historian Curt Gentry, known for Hoover biography and ‘Helter Skelter,’ dies at 83
- Harvard historian: strategy of climate science denial groups 'extremely successful'