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Italy to give 18 million euros for Colosseum repair

Staff writer |
Italy has earmarked over 18 million euros to rebuild the arena floor in the Colosseum where gladiators once fought wild beasts, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said.

"A promise kept: the Colosseum will have its arena once more. Plan for reconstruction financed," he said on Twitter after announcing 18.5 million euros ($20.2 million) for a refurbishment which could see the ancient space host modern day cultural events.

In total, the cultural ministry approved 80 million euros worth of investments in the country's museums and heritage sites.

Of that, 18 million euros will go towards enlarging the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, while five million has been set aside for the Museum of Ancient ships in Pisa, where nine Roman cargo ships discovered in 1998 are set to go on display.

The biggest amphitheatre built during the Roman empire welcomes over six million visitors a year. Repairs, funded with 25 million euros by Italian billionaire Diego Della Valle began in 2013 and are expected to be finished in early 2016.

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