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Discovery of ancient ruins in Rome will not stop Jubilee 2025 tunnel

Jubilee 2025 project is still on schedule.

A major infrastructural project near the Vatican is still on track to open in time for Jubilee Year 2025 despite the discovery of important archaeological finds, Rome's mayor said on Friday.

The remains of an ancient Roman laundry were unearthed during excavations to build an underpass in Piazza Pia, located between Castel S. Angelo and Via della Conciliazione, the street leading to St Peter's Square.

Archaeologists working on the construction site discovered part of a residential building from the early imperial age, transformed in the second century AD into a fullonica, the ancient Roman equivalent of a dry cleaners.

Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri insisted that the discovery would not slow down the Jubilee project, one of the biggest currently underway in the city, and that its December 2024 completion date still stands.


Gualtieri told reporters on Friday that the ancient ruins would be dismantled within 10 days - with the authorisation of the city's archaeological superintendency - and would eventually be displayed in the nearby grounds of Castel S. Angelo.

This pragmatic approach to getting the job finished on time is shared by Italy's culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano who said authorities "are ready to collaborate and find a point of balance, with reasonableness and common sense, between the needs of safeguarding [heritage] and the modernisation of the city."

The discovery brought to light the vats used by the fullers to wash the clothes which were first treated with human and animal urine - as a detergent or ammonia - before being rinsed in other tubs.

The €70 million Jubilee project will lead to the pedestrianisation of Piazza Pia and will see traffic channelled underground to meet the existing Lungotevere in Sassia underpass which was built for Jubilee 2000.

 

For more details see the city website. Photos Roma Capitale.

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Address P.za Pia, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

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Discovery of ancient ruins in Rome will not stop Jubilee 2025 tunnel

P.za Pia, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia