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Colosseum Painted in Red

Posted: Feb. 4th, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Ancient Roman graffiti in the Collosseum

A current restoration of the Colosseum has revealed traces of various colors. The paint was hidden behind years of calcified rock and other elements. Most of us always thought that the Colosseum was on simple bland color, but today we find out that the gladiators in Rome did in fact have an artistic side.

ROME — A long-delayed restoration of the Colosseum’s only intact internal passageway has yielded ancient traces of red, black, green and blue frescoes — as well as graffiti and drawings of phallic symbols — indicating that the arena where gladiators fought was far more colorful than previously thought.

Officials unveiled the discoveries Friday and said the passageway — between the second and third levels of the first-century Colosseum — would open to the public starting this summer, after the $100,000 restoration is completed.

The frescoes were hidden under decades of calcified rock and grime, and were revealed during a cleaning and restoration project over the past two months.


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