Rome mayor is open to discussing the idea.Italy’s new culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano has revived a contentious plan to start charging people to visit the Pantheon in Rome, the ministry announced on Thursday.
The plan, which was at an advanced stage five years ago before being shelved in 2018, would see visitors pay an admission fee of €2, according to a statement from the ministry.
Sangiuliano, of Italy’s new right-wing government, is dusting off a plan first unveiled by his centre-left predecessor Dario Franceschini in 2016.come into effect in May 2018 but was scrapped by the then culture minister Alberto Bonisoli of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle.
However the project is now back on the table and talks have resumed between the culture ministry and Catholic Church authorities.
As a place of worship the Pantheon is free to visit, in line with the custom of the Rome vicariate which does not charge entry fees for churches.
Under the new arrangement, tourist visits to the Pantheon would be suspended during religious services, which would not incur an admission fee.
Part of the funds raised from Pantheon ticket sales would go towards the maintenance and management costs of the ancient building which attracted a record 9.3 million visitors in 2019, the year before the covid pandemic struck.
Gualtieri's openness to evaluating the move was welcomed by Sangiuliano who said that Roman residents, students and under-18s could be exempt from being charged to visit the Pantheon.
Photo credit: Heracles Kritikos / Shutterstock.com.
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Rome’s Pantheon set to charge visitors entry fee
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