The long-awaited restoration of Rome’s Mausoleum of Augustus has been put out to tender, announced the city’s outgoing mayor Ignazio Marino and culture councillor Giovanni Marinelli on 16 October.
The first phase of the restoration of the abandoned mausoleum is possible thanks to a €6 million donation from Fondazione Telecom, which will be added to the more than €4 million of public funds already available.
Welcoming the “historic agreement” with Telecom, Marino described the mausoleum as among Rome’s “most beautiful [but] too long invisible” archaeological monuments.
Built in 28 BC, the mausoleum is the capital’s largest circular tomb. It was used as a concert hall in the 19th century but has been closed to the public for almost 80 years. It has been the subject of numerous stalled renovation projects (including one by Mussolini in the 1930s) and now lies in a state of neglect.
The mausoleum is located in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, beside Via Ripetta and Richard Meiers’ controversial Ara Pacis museum, where Augustus’s Altare della Pace, to commemorate the peace created by the emperor, is now housed.
The square has been cordoned off for several years, waiting for restoration. It should have been ready in 2014 to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Augustus.