The Italian government could provide €2 million in funding towards the restoration of Rome's Mausoleum of Augustus, if approved by the Italian senate and house.
The funds, which are only part of the €12 million required, would be used in the crucial first phase of works, to secure the exterior of the mausoleum and make it visitable from the outside in time for the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Emperor Augustus next year.
The city's interim superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce said "The original project was divided into three batches, for a total amount of €12 million, funded one third by the ministry of culture, a third by the city and one-third by private individuals, yet to be found." There have been no offers of private sponsorship despite a plea for €4 million last year.
Built in 28 BC, the monument is the capital's largest circular tomb and has been closed to the public for 77 years. In recent years it has been the subject of numerous stalled renovation projects and now lies in a state of neglect.
The mausoleum is located in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, beside Via Ripetta and Richard Meiers's controversial Ara Pacis museum, parallel to the river Tiber. The square has been cordoned off for several years, waiting for restoration.
It should have been ready in 2014 to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Augustus.