Rome’s Mausoleum of Augustus to reopen in 2019

Telecoms company TIM donates €6 million for restoration project.

Rome’s Mausoleum of Augustus is set to reopen to the public in April 2019 following a €6 million restoration funded by Italian telecommunications company TIM.

Launching the project on 3 May, the capital's mayor Virginia Raggi said the monumental tomb of Rome's first emperor would resume its "iconic" status after decades of abandonment.

Raggi said that "special visits" would be possible during the refurbishment process, adding that entry would be "hopefully" be free when the 13,000-sqm mausoleum opens in two years' time. Visitors would also be able to look forward to 3-D effects. In the meantime the restoration will be documented on a dedicated website which includes an historical timeline of the monument.

Constructed in 28 BC, the mausoleum is the capital’s largest circular tomb and has been closed to the public for around 80 years. The structure was used as a concert hall in the late 19th- and early 20th century and narrowly escaped demolition by Mussolini in the late 1930s.

Over the years the monument has been the subject of numerous stalled renovation projects, one of which would have seen it ready in 2014 in time to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Augustus.

The mausoleum is located in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, beside Via Ripetta and Richard Meiers’ Ara Pacis museum, which contains Augustus’s Altare della Pace, to commemorate the peace created by the emperor.