Site of Romulus's murder to be tourist draw

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The spot in the Roman Forum where Romulus, the first King of Rome, is said to have met a grisly end at the hands of senators who resented his high handed autocratic rule is to be shown as a tourist attraction after being covered up for half a century.

Professor Angelo Bottini, Superintendent of Archeology in Rome, said the underground area of black marble paving stone or "Lapis Niger" marking the spot where Romulus is traditionally said to have been killed and dismembered, had been covered over with cement in the 1950s and surrounded by iron railings to protect it.

However recent heavy rain had damaged the covering, and he had decided to remove it. A canopy would be erected over the exposed "murder site" - first discovered in 1899 - so that archeologists could work on it while visitors to the Forum watched.

According to legend the twins Romulus and Remus, sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia and Mars, the god of war, jointly founded Rome in the eighth century BC. Romulus became sole ruler after killing Remus in a dispute over omens indicating which of them had the support of the gods.

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