Rome, May 30 (EFE).- An elevator to make the higher levels of Rome’s Colosseum accessible to people with mobility problems was inaugurated Tuesday.
The elevator will begin operating every day at dawn so visitors can enjoy the “special light” of the Roman sunrise, Alfonsina Russo, superintendent for archaeology, fine arts, and landscape in metropolitan Rome, said during the ceremony.
“The Colosseum is part of our heart, of our identity, and of our memory, a heritage we have the duty to protect,” Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said.
To mark the occasion, the Orchestra Italiana Del Cinema, which performed selections from the soundtrack to “Gladiator.”
The idea for the elevator emerged following a special benefit screening of Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic at the Colosseum in June 2018. The film’s star, Russell Crowe, was on hand for that event, which raised money for the fight against polio.
Construction took more than five years, partly due to a decision to install the shaft without making any permanent alterations to the nearly 2,000-year-old amphitheater.
Designers aimed for “total reversibility,” making it possible for the shaft to be removed in the future without compromising structural integrity.
The Colosseum had nearly 7 million visitors last year.
Though the elevator does not reach what is known as the “attic,” a ledge that offers a commanding view of the imperial-era ruins on nearby Palatine Hill, Russo said that work is under way on a platform making the attic accessible from the third and highest level of seating. EFE gsm/dr