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Italy unveils plan for new floor at the Colosseum

The Italian government has approved a plan to furnish Rome’s ancient Colosseum with a new floor, giving visitors the chance to stand where gladiators once fought, the BBC reports.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced the project to build the wooden, retractable floor on Sunday.

Italian engineering firm Milan Ingegneria won the 18.5m euro (£16.1m; $22.2m) contract to design the floor.

The floor is expected to be finished by 2023.

At present, the 2,000-year-old monument has no floor. It was removed by archaeologists in the 19th Century, exposing the underground network of tunnels where gladiators and animals were held before the Roman blood sports began.

Mr Franceschini said the “extraordinary” new floor would allow visitors to “see the majesty of the Colosseum” from its centre.

“It’s another step forward toward rebuilding the arena, an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archaeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum,” Mr Franceschini said.

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