The Colosseum: An IconNicola
“The Colosseum: An Icon”
A fab new exhibition ‘The Colosseum: An Icon’ opened this week at the Colosseum, on the first floor of the Amphitheatre and runs through to January 2018. Ideal of you are looking for untold stories associated with the monument.
Six million tourists a year visit the Colosseum, to marvel at its architectural genius and imagine the gladiators battling with lions and fighting each other to the death in front of the roaring crowds.
Built in 80 A.D, the colosseum was
the biggest amphitheatre built in the Roman Empire, holding up to 55,000 people who spectated gory shows and acts of endurance put on as entertainment and a deterrent for any non law abiding citizens watching, hence the term ‘thrown to the lions’.
However, in the 1600’s it was semi abandoned, and the site was scene to a botanical garden, where over 400 plant species survived inside its walls. And, for 200 years it was the fortress base of the powerful Frangipane family.
The exhibition focuses on the lesser known aspects of the historic building from newly discovered family seals, such as rams heads and carved antlers. These show it was also a market place for businesses owned by the aristocracy, who traded there. And interestingly, the upper terraces have raised walkway’s that were used as a lookout for attacks from rival families, where the Frangipanes soldiers stood guard.
The exhibition also focuses on how the Colosseum became a world wide point of reference for architects, painters and poets, in all its glory standing 159 feet high built with expert engineering.
Fashion shoe company Tod’s, donated 35 million Euros to the project with the first phase of re cleansing and restoration being completed in 2016. Phase two, is to rebuild the arena to enable re-enactments of Roman events, to be held along side open air public concerts, as one of the cities main historical attractions.