Monumental Mausoleum to Become New Magnet for Rome’s Visitors
New outlets are reporting that the Mausoleum of Augustus will soon be restored and reopened as a historical attraction. Thanks to funding from several sources, including the city of Rome and Telecom Italia, the mausoleum should be ready to open in 2019.
Built in 28 CE as the burial place for the Emperor Augustus, the massive mausoleum eventually held the remains of several noteworthy imperial descendants, including Tiberius and Vespasian. Most of these revered remains were purloined when the Visigoths sacked the city of Rome in the 5th century, and from that point the structure became the source of spolia and slow decline.
Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, lauded the project to revive the structure, which was last open to the public in the 1970s. As she stated at the project’s announcement:
“We’re going to bring back to life one of the great masterpieces of ancient Rome, which has lain abandoned in the middle of the city for years.”
Work has already begun, with the removal of surrounding foliage and garbage and the construction of surrounding scaffolding to begin restoration work on the exterior brick.
Nick Squires, “Last resting place of Rome’s emperors to be restored and opened to tourists in £5 million project” (The Telegraph, 2 May 2017).
“Restoration of Mausoleum of Augustus Underway” (Archaeology, 2 May 2017).
Interior and exterior views of the Mausoleum of Augustus (courtesy of The Telegraph/ Ettore Ferrari).
Posted by Alexis Culotta