Colosseum Cleaning Yields Ancient Art Discoveries Including Old Frescos, Graffiti
Medieval History

Colosseum Cleaning Yields Ancient Art Discoveries Including Old Frescos, Graffiti

A long-delayed restoration of the Colosseum's only intact internal passageway has yielded ancient traces of red, black, green and blue frescoes ? as well as graffiti and drawings of phallic symbols ? indicating that the arena where gladiators fought was far more colorful than previously thought. 

Officials unveiled the discoveries Friday and said the passageway ? between the second and third levels of the first century Colosseum ? would open to the public starting this summer, after the 80,000 euro restoration is completed.

 The frescoes were hidden under decades of calcified rock and grime, and were revealed during a cleaning and restoration project over the last two months. The traces confirmed that while the Colosseum today is a fairly monochrome gray travertine rock, red brick and moss-covered marble, in its day its interior halls were a rich and expensive Technicolor.

 "We're used to thinking that during excavations, archaeological surprises are a risk for builders and for the city's development," Rome archaeological heritage superintendent Mariarosaria Barbera said. "But here is a beautiful archaeological surprise ... a monument that has been studied and known and appreciated across the world, yet still provides surprises."

Click here to read the full article from the Huffington Post

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