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July 30, 2012

`Leaning` Colosseum in Rome `may need urgent repairs`

     Sydney: The ancient Colosseum in Rome, which is famous for hosting bloody gladiator fights in the days of the Roman Empire, is slanting about 40 cm lower on the south side as compared to its north side, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs. Rossella Rea, director at the 2000-year-old monument, said in an article published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Sunday that experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of Italy ’s most popular attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors. Rea has asked Rome ’s La Sapienza University and environmental geology institute IGAG to launch a study on the phenomenon, with investigations to be concluded in a year. Tests have also started to observe the effects that traffic on nearby busy roads may have on the monument. Professor Giorgio Monti, from La Sapienza’s construction technology department, warned that there may be a crack in the base below the amphitheatre. “The slab of concrete on which the Colosseum rests, which is like a 13-metre (yard)-thick oval doughnut, may have a fracture inside it,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Monti as saying.
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