If you thought your home renovation project was complex, get this: Rome's Colosseum is getting a new floor. The Italian government announced this month that engineering firm Milan Ingegneria has been awarded the 18.5 million euro ($22.5 million USD) contract to build the high-tech addition, according to a press release from Rome's Ministry of Culture.
This new floor will be "light, reversible and sustainable," the release explains. It will be built from Accoya wood and will consist of slats that can be rotated to allow natural light into the underground structures. The floor will also contain 24 mechanical ventilation units installed beneath ground level to control temperature and humidity, plus a rainwater collection system to recover water that can be used in the tourist attraction's toilets.
The goal behind this new addition is to restore "the original image of the monument and its functioning" as well as "protect [its] underground structures," the release further stressed. As a refresher, the amphitheater's previous floor was removed in the 19th century by archaeologists to study the network of rooms and corridors located below. Colosseum director Alfonsina Russo shed a light on this iconic feat in a recent press conference, according to CNN. "The complex underground system under the wooden pavement, thanks to hatches, hoists and mobile types of machinery, allowed men, beasts and props to be brought up to the arena floor," she explained. She continued to note that this new installment "will give us back the same vision from the stage of the monument that it had in ancient times." The Colosseum's new floor is slated to be finished by 2023.
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