Colosseum - falling plaster or masonry

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May 11th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Colosseum - falling plaster or masonry

Reported today in our local papper, the Melbourne Age:

Near miss as Colosseum loses a chunk May 12, 2010

ROME: Slabs of ancient plaster have fallen from the Colosseum in Rome in a ''wake-up call'' for a $33 million restoration.

The three chunks of mortar crashed through a 30-year-old wire protection net and hit the ground about dawn on Sunday.

Archaeologists said disaster had been narrowly averted and if it had happened later in the day, visitors could have been badly hurt or even killed.

The plaster, which dates from Roman times, fell from a square-metre section of roof in one of the stone entrances through which crowds filed to watch gladiators fight each other, animals and prisoners.

The restoration and cleaning project is due to start in the next few weeks but Rome city council is still trying to raise funds from the private sector in Italy and abroad to finance the work.

Authorities said the loosening of the plaster may have been caused by recent heavy rain, humidity and temperature changes.

Archaeologists said the near miss should be a wake-up call for the parlous state of the arena, which was begun in 72AD and has since suffered from earthquakes and centuries of pillaging.

''Once again we've come close to tragedy,'' said Giorgia Leoni, the president of the Association of Italian Archaeologists. ''If the collapse had happened during opening hours, it could have hit one of the thousands of visitors.''

Andrea Carandini, of the Council for Culture and Heritage, said: ''Sooner or later something was going to happen.''

Telegraph, London
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May 11th, 2010, 07:35 PM
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Yes. Old stuff falls down.

Just a few years back a 15th c. Della Robbia roundel in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City that hung over the lintel of a doorway sprung loose from its moorings and smashed to the floor -- fortunately, in the middle of the night, thus not braining any visitors.

However, the near miss at the Colosseum in Rome is a reminder of just what a heavy financial burden Italy shoulders preserving its antiquity.
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May 11th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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Old stuff falls down, and it costs a fortune to keep it standing up. That's why I always think that the admission charges to so many old places (think the Forum, Pompei, Doge's Palace) are probably too low. Maybe tourists like myself need to pay a little more so that our great grand-children can also enjoy these places.
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May 11th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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Actually, I wish there was an international fund for heritage sites, because I want people of all means to be able to see it, especially the young. (I always hate it when I hear that well-heeled parents of students are not contributing bucks to their foreign trips for educational outings, supposedly to teach the kids "responsibility" about paying their own way.

But for those of us who can afford it, I do think we should never begrudge the entrance fee.
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May 12th, 2010, 03:36 AM
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I don't disagree that there needs to be enough of an entrance fee to allow for the preservation of the site, but I object to the lack of discounts for children at many of the sites in the EU. At times it has been difficult to justify all of my small family going in to see certain things (the Medici tombs in San Lorenzo in Florence or the Duomo in Siena come to mind) when the admission is roughly equivalent to a night's lodging. I mean, just how much culture can a nine-year old AMERICAN kid absorb? It might have given her an appreciation of art , invaluable cultural awareness and make her a better citizen of the world, but I guess we will never know....

Rick
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May 12th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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A couple of high school kids were interviewed on the radio the other day and asked about the Tea Party-neither could discuss it and they both said they were more interested in passing their classes to be involved in politics. I wonder if the same applies to the cultural experiences.

As a former educator, I know that class trips were prefaced with "readiness" activities. And still the trips were wasted on most of the kids (I guess).

The question is: does one need to be a certain age to "get it" culturally? I agree, children should get a discount. I've mentioned in other posts that my dad took me to an operetta when I was in 4th grade-it remains a vivid memory-dad wore the weirdest shoes....

Does UN have anything in place to support world sites?
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May 12th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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Could be that a nine year old AMERICAN kid causes more damage than an adult.
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May 12th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Donations accepted:

http://www.wmf.org/

http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/

http://www.heritagewatchinternational.org/

Just three I'm familiar with. I'm sure others can add to the list.
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