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Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project


Monuments, warehouses, commercial premises, arcades, tabernae and domus. From today, after four years of meticulous work, the experience of a visit to the archaeological site of Ostia Antica is enriched thanks to the restoration of 187 structures located on the left side of the decumanus - the main east-west road that crossed the entire Ostia da Porta Romana - 'the beating heart of the city'.

Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project

Along the 670 linear metres that have been restored, there are the so-called Republican sacred area, the Collegiate Temple and the Seat of the Augustals. Further along there is the Caseggiato del Sole, a splendid example of a residential building, and the Mitreo dei Serpenti, with its imposing frescoes protected by a new roof. No less fascinating are the 31 rooms of the Terme dell' Invidioso with its large mosaics with marine figures.

"Thanks to the EUR 1.8 million earmarked for restoration, it has been possible to begin work on the landscaping of the area, much of which was overgrown with vegetation," explain Morelli and Paola Germoni, archaeologists and site lot managers. "All surfaces were then cleaned with water and brushed by hand to eliminate surface deposits and organic residues. Finally, the mortar has been renewed where it was eroded and any gaps have been filled with original materials or restored using the same methods as in the second century."


"We have allocated 4 million to Ostia but this is not enough. We started with a lack of EU credibility on the Pompeii project but we kept to the schedule and changed the face of the site. Both UNESCO and the EU Commissioner himself, after visiting Pompeii, stressed that a similar programmed use of funds should be followed by other countries. I think that on the basis of this credibility we should propose a project similar to that of Pompeii, as a model for Ostia Antica," said the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Dario Franceschini when presenting the restoration work.

Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project
Ostia Antica returns to its ancient splendour after massive restoration project

"For that site it is not a matter of working on individual monuments but of having a project that is ongoing over a long period of time and that involves scheduled and constant maintenance. I think that, as was the case for other Italian sites such as the Colosseum or the Amphitheatre of Verona, if a large Italian company decided to link its name to Ostia Antica it would be good for the company itself as well as the country," the Minister added.


Franceschini also stressed the importance of the transport links between the archaeological area and the city. "The rail link between Rome and ancient Ostia is clearly very important and is something that the Municipality, the State Railways and the Region need to invest heavily in."

Maria Rosaria Barbera, director of the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica, added: "We also intend to bring tourists to Ostia Antica from Rome by river, recovering the dimension that the city has lost but that was the basis of its birth. The departure will be from Ponte Marconi. Now the town hall has to complete the work on the dock," she added, "while we are dealing with the accessibility to the site by land. This work is expected to close in mid-2019."

Photos courtesy of La Repubblica

Source: La Repubblica [November 05, 2017]
TANN

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