Perhaps soon you will be able to see your favourite show or band live in one of the most historic places in the world, as the Italians plan to build a sliding floor in the Colosseum to be able to organize concerts and theatre performances there!
The Colosseum remains closed, but Italian officials already envision a post-pandemic world where visitors will be able to see concerts, visit a theatre and even stand in the centre of this historic space where gladiator fights once took place.
The BBC reports that the Italian government are seeking proposals from engineers to build a sliding floor for the Colosseum, the investment will cost $22.5 million. Proposals are due to be submitted by February 1, and Italian officials hope to complete the ambitious project by 2023.
"It will be a major technological intervention that will give visitors the opportunity not only to see the underground spaces, but also to appreciate the beauty of the Colosseum while standing in the center of the arena," said Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini.
The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire. It fell into disrepair with the fall of the Empire and is now one of Italy's top tourist attractions
Currently, the Colosseum has no floor. Visitors can instead see an underground labyrinth of tunnels and a system of pulleys and trap doors that were once used by Roman gladiators and where wild animals were released. The open space makes the complex exposed to rain.
The extendable floor of the Colosseum would close in bad weather and create space for concerts and other live performances. "Gladiators will not come back" , said the director of the Colosseum Alfonsina Russo, "The arena will be used for high culture, ie concerts or theater."
The Colosseum closed in March as Italy shut down much of its economy to contain the spread of COVID-19. It reopened in June but closed in November as the second wave of the coronavirus hit Europe.