The Ara Pacis was forced to close to the public on 5 July when staff walked out after temperatures inside the museum pavilion reached 32 degrees by 10.00. Organisers said the problem was due to the air conditioning system, which was still undergoing trials. The museum had reopened as normal on 6 July.
The new building, designed by American architect Richard Meier to house Emperor Augustuss sculpted altar, opened in April to a mixed reception. Built from concrete, glass and travertine marble, the modern pavilion in Piazza Augusto Imperatore has been criticised as anachronistic. Art historian Vittorio Sgarbi accused Meier of "knowing Rome the way I know Tibet", and Gianni Alemanno, Walter Veltronis opponent for Romes mayoral elections, told voters he would pull the building down if he was put into office.