Italian archaeologist Alfonsina Russo has been appointed director of the new Colosseum archaeological park which, in addition to the Colosseum, includes the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and the Domus Aurea.
Russo beat 77 other candidates, of whom around 15 per cent were non-Italian, to land the four-year post which has an annual salary of €145,000.
A specialist in classical archaeology, Russo has been an internal director at Italy's culture ministry since 2009, with experience in museum management and organising major exhibitions in Italy and abroad.
She will now be responsible for the overall management of the Colosseum archaeological park as well as the implementation and development of its cultural and scientific programme.
Russo's appointment comes four months after Italy's top administrative court overturned a regional court ruling against the government's plan to establish the new archaeological park.
Rome mayor Virginia Raggi had opposed the archaeological park on the grounds that it would be "harmful to the interests of Roma Capitale", referring to the fact that under the new plan the city would only receive 30 per cent of ticket sales proceeds from the Colosseum and Forum.
The appointment of Russo is the final chapter in a protracted attempt by Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini to push through a decree designed to streamline the management of the capital’s archaeological sites, increase visitor numbers and offer better services.
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