Ancient Roman monument-turned-eyesore gets needed makeover
Ancient Roman monument-turned-eyesore gets needed makeover A view of the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome during a special opening for the press, Tuesday May 2, 2017. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Ancient Roman monument-turned-eyesore gets needed makeover
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The mausoleum of Emperor Augustus was a towering monument. That was in 28 B.C.  Now the decrepit eyesore in Rome's historic center is being restored. The work is a $10.9 million public-private facelift and is expected to be completed in 2019.
The structure is located along the Tiber River. It is made up of circular, vaulted corridors with the sepulcher in the center. It has been covered with trees, weeds and garbage and closed to the public since the 1970s because of safety concerns.
Its restoration is being financed by the city of Rome, the culture ministry and a donation from the TIM phone company.
On May 1, Mayor Virginia Raggi donned a protective helmet and paid a visit.
"I hope the mausoleum will be given back as soon as possible to the people," she said.
Augustus had the mausoleum built for himself and the imperial family. It also houses the bones and ash of Emperors Vespasian, Nero and Tiberius, each indicated with a marble plaque.
The structure was originally 295 feet in diameter and 147 feet high. It originally featured a bronze sculpture of Augustus on the roof. Its location is a stone's throw from the Tiber, giving it maximum visibility around the city of Rome.
Over the centuries it was used as a fortress, for bullfights and for concerts. Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini restored the area, eager to revive Roman imperial glory. He built a square piazza around it called Piazza Augusto Imperatore. Today it houses upscale restaurants and shops.
But the mausoleum itself was shut down in the 1930s. Since then, it's been fenced off. It has been left in disrepair.
In the first phase of the restoration, workers cleaned out the garbage. They cut back the trees and weeds that grew up inside. Phase two involves installing electricity and a cover.
The restored mausoleum will have an adjoining museum, elevators and a shop. It will be a convenient stop alongside the nearby Ara Pacis altar. It received a protective covering. This was a decade ago.
Augustus was 35 when he had the mausoleum built. It was shortly after his victory in the naval Battle of Actium. That is where he defeated the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra. The victories consolidated his power and made him the undisputed leader of the Roman Empire.

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The mausoleum is very old. Why is it still standing?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • cesars-
    5/11/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    It is still standing because of what the people do the clean it up so people can visit it every year.

  • juliom2012-
    5/11/2017 - 08:37 a.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing because it was shut down and fenced off in the 1930s which kept it from tourists possibly destroying it even more.

  • abrahaml-kut
    5/11/2017 - 10:58 a.m.

    This was interesting to read language arts inspired me to read tis from a book and I have never heard of this building to be honest

  • jacklynt-ste
    5/11/2017 - 11:48 a.m.

    I think that they should clean it up a little but not completely remake it. It is most likely one of the oldest monuments around and they should keep it looking they way it was. The monument could be a learning experience for some.

  • brandona52163-
    5/11/2017 - 12:56 p.m.

    they are starting to rebuild it

  • genesisj-
    5/11/2017 - 01:04 p.m.

    The mausoleum is still there because it's full of memories that can't be torn down.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    5/12/2017 - 01:26 p.m.

    It is still standing because of the renovations and how it was built. I think it is really cool that it is still up.

  • jasminew1-bur
    5/13/2017 - 08:05 p.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing to show people all of the history that takes place there and to have a special meaning to other people. And to also treat the artifacts there in their home peacefully and keep their home beautiful and clean to respect their remembrance. I once visited a temple that was 500 years old and its still standing because they said that they wanted to keep the history alive for as long as possible.

  • lauraw-kut
    5/14/2017 - 07:41 p.m.

    One I think it is very important to keep history alive. If we don't it could be lost forever. Two Rome has been around for a very long time we have no clue
    what could be in there. Three hopefully it it brings more people into Rome. Most of the time it is a once in a life time opportunity. In about 50 years they are going to be ask the same question should we save it. You never know you might be blown away.

  • seanm2-bur
    5/15/2017 - 07:58 a.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing because it has been used as a fortress, for concerts, and for bullfights. Also, when fascist Benito Mussolini came to power, he restored Rome, hoping to regain Roman imperial glory. Recently, I had to restore the ceiling in my bathroom. It was about to start crumbling into pieces, and it had a major leak. It took us a while, but we got it done.

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