Restored Mausoleum of Augustus to reopen after 80 years.
Rome’s Mausoleum of Augustus is set to reopen to the public this spring following a €6.5 million restoration funded by Italian telecommunications company TIM, according to Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.
The monumental tomb of Rome's first emperor is destined to become a major draw for tourists, after decades of abandonment, and is expected to be open for free, according to La Repubblica.
In addition to sponsorship from TIM, the restoration of the 13,000-sqm mausoleum - under the direction of architect Francesco Cellini - has been funded with €4 million from the city and Italy's culture ministry.
There will be virtual reality tours, as previewed in an advert featuring acclaimed Italian conductor Riccardo Muti accompanying a girl on a virtual journey through the history of the monument. "Use technology to travel with your imagination", Muti says, to the strains of Mascagni's La Cavalleria Rusticana.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.
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Rome to finally reopen Mausoleum of Augustus
Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 00186 Roma RM, Italy