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The Colosseum to be archeological park

The area will include the Roman Forum and the Domus Aurea, among other historical sites
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
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The Colosseum and its surrounding area will be a new archeological park with more management autonomy and the possibility to be headed by a foreigner, announced today the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

The new archaeological park will not only include the most famous monument from Italy but also 192 more acres of terrain which include the Forum and the Domus Aurea, among other sites.

The declaration of the archaeological park has confronted the Ministry and the city council, and even reached the courts to revoke the decision, but the State Council invalidated the sentence of the Lazio Regional Administrative Court which voted in favor of the mayor of the capital, Virginia Raggi.

The Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, said in a press conference that the creation of the Colosseum archeological park is relevant, because it will be part of an "already implemented" system, which is “very appreciated both in and outside the country,” and that it supposes a “real” reform.

Franceschini defended the need to find more collaborative ways which not only impact archaeological parks but also the rest of the city's heritage sites and lamented that, until now, Raggi's Council has not involved him in any of the cultural decisions.

Franceschini said that out of 82 people who presented their application to head the archaeological park, 16 are not Italian, and after the selection process, the new director will assume the position on January 2018, focusing on the economic management of the park.

In addition, he revealed that the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will be part of the management board.

Last year's designation of non-Italian experts to head some of the most important museums of the country, such as the Uffizi Gallery or the Gallery of the Academy of Florence, both located in that city, caused controversy in the whole country and ended on the courts.


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