[QODLink]
Europe
Rome's Colosseum too is leaning
Ancient monument slanting 40cm lower on one side like the Tower of Pisa, another of Italy's attractions.
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2012 17:45

The ancient Colosseum of Rome, where gladiators fought for their lives, is slanting about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs.

Experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months, Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, said in an article published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Sunday.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of Italy's attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors.

Rea has asked Rome's La Sapienza University and environmental geology institute IGAG to launch a study on the phenomenon, with investigations to be concluded in a year.

Tests have also started to observe the effects that traffic on nearby busy roads may have on the monument.

Professor Giorgio Monti, from La Sapienza's construction technology department, warned there may be a crack in the base below the amphitheatre.

"The slab of concrete on which the Colosseum rests, which is like a 13-metre (yard)-thick oval doughnut, may have a fracture inside it," he told the newspaper.

He said intervention could be necessary if the concerns are confirmed, along the lines of stabilisation work carried out in Pisa, but he said it was too early to judge what kind of intervention would be most suitable.

The Colosseum - famous for hosting bloody gladiator fights in the days of the Roman Empire - attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and is usually packed with visitors.

271

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.