Rome's Falling ArchesBreaking News
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
- The six-day war: why Israel is still divided over its legacy 50 years on
- "Space archaeology" transforms how ancient sites are discovered
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?