Restoration of Piramide Cestia nears completion

Japanese sponsor visits site

Japanese entrepreneur Yuzo Yagi visited Rome's Piramide Cestia mid July to observe the final stages of the €2 million restoration process that he has funded since work began in March 2013.

Yuzo Yagi – who has imported Italian clothes to his Yagi Tsusho chain of fashion stores in Japan for some 40 years – paid a site inspection to the city’s Egyptian-style pyramid in the S. Paolo-Ostiense district with the Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini.

Yagi said that the restoration of the 2,000-year-old monument was his way of thanking Italy for his success while Franceschini said he hoped that Yagi's philanthropy would encourage future private donations to help preserve of Italy's heritage sites.

The restoration process of Rome's only existing ancient Egyptian-style pyramid is due for completion in a few months.

The 36-metre high monument dates from the first century BC and was built as a tomb for the powerful Roman magistrate Caius Cestius. Experts believe that the structure has evaded collapse over the centuries because it was incorporated into the Aurelian walls in the years 271-275.

Today the pyramid stands in the middle of a busy junction between Piramide train station and the city's Non-Catholic Cemetery.

Photos: Getty Images