ROME'S COLOSSEUM IS LEANING TO ONE SIDE
THE COLOSSEUM is not only crumbling to pieces but is also leaning to one side — and restoration work is tied up in a court case over a shoe company's merchandising scheme.
Rome's amphitheater, built in the First Century and one of Italy's main attractions, is slanting about 40 cm (16 inches) lower on the south side than on the north, archaeologists and experts working on its restoration have discovered.
Specialists in charge of the preservation of this monument believe that cars, motorcycles, buses and public transportation are among the causes of its deterioration.
In recent months, chunks of masonry have fallen from the edifice, endangering tourists who visit the site daily.
Restoration work was supposed to begin in early August, the first restoration project at the Colosseum in 73 years.
However, the restoration project has been tied up in court pending a decision on whether a shoe manufacturer can have exclusive rights to the Colosseum logo in return for providing $30 million in funding for the restoration work.
Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1980, the Colosseum is one of the most famous sites from classical times for its history and preservation.