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

  • emilyg1-bur
    5/15/2017 - 10:06 a.m.

    The very old mausoleum is still standing because the mausoleum is being taken care of. The people are starting to redo the building. I would not go here even thought people are rebuilding it. this mausoleum sound dangerous.

  • kadenm-bur
    5/15/2017 - 10:19 a.m.

    I it is still standing because it has not been touched but,i think if there were more tourist around it might have fallen.My friend had an shed and it started to break down over time.

  • brianac-bur
    5/15/2017 - 11:01 a.m.

    I think that its still standing because, they go to check on it and they fix it if it has something wrong with it.

  • aidenm1-bur
    5/15/2017 - 12:46 p.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing because the romans had very good concrete. they had a special ingredient to make the concrete and statues made by them last thousands of years.

  • maleked-bur
    5/15/2017 - 08:33 p.m.

    Because of that one restoration that dictator benito musolini had done on it many many years ago and it has been closed off from people to do further damage until it has been able to be restored.

  • eleanorm-
    5/16/2017 - 10:15 a.m.

    1. Emperor Augustus built the mausoleum at the age of 35 after he won the Battle of Actium.
    2. The mausoleum was 147 feet tall and 295 feet wide.
    3. The city of Rome is working on restoring the mausoleum to its original state.

    1. Why didn't anyone restore the mausoleum earlier?
    2. How long did it take to restore the mausoleum?

    1. I think that it was a good idea to restore the mausoleum so people can go and see what it might have looked like around when it was first built.

  • hayleel-ste
    5/16/2017 - 12:24 p.m.

    Bringing back history is always good because the longer we can make it last the better.

  • maylynm-bur
    5/17/2017 - 08:51 p.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing because is was used as a fortress. Also it was used for bullfights and concerts. I would like to see what they are able to do to the mausoleum and how they will fix it.

  • katherinel1-bur
    5/18/2017 - 09:37 a.m.

    The mausoleum is still standing because when Benito Mussolini came to power, he wanted to restore "Roman Glory." Also, People have taken care of it in the past. My house is old but we take care of it.

  • elianac-kut
    6/11/2017 - 06:14 p.m.

    Its just amazing to hear that something that was made in 28 B.C. is now being restored! And i think the reson why its still standing is because, maybe back then, they used certain shapes when they were building it and the materials they used was strong enough to keep it in tack.

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