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News Link • Archaeology

Colosseum to come alive again 2,000 years after the gladiators

• http://www.telegraph.co, By Nick Squires

Two millennia after sword-wielding gladiators fought to the death on the blood-soaked sands of the Colosseum, Italy's culture minister has given the green light to cultural events once again being held within the arena.

Dario Franceschini has thrown his weight behind a proposal to rebuild the wooden floor that once covered the arena and provided the setting for wild animal hunts and gladiatorial combat.

Currently only a small portion of the arena is covered by wooden boards, with the rest exposed to the elements – visitors are able to peer into the labyrinth of narrow tunnels and cramped stone cells that once housed caged animals and gladiators before they emerged into the arena via a network of lifts operated by slaves.

There are no plans to recreate mock gladiatorial battles or fights with lions, leopards and bears.

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