The Augustus Mausoleum, one of the most significant monuments of Ancient Rome, will soon be restored to its former glory. Rome Capital has launched the second phase of the recovery of the largest circular sepulchre known to man, thanks to Fondazione TIM and its 6 million euro donation. Archaeological surveys have thus been started to assess the feasibility of the positioning of the pillars that should support the Mausoleum roof.
The partnership between Rome city council and Fondazione TIM seeks to return “visibility and visitability” to the Augustus Mausoleum through interventions carried out to restore it to adequate conditions for public access, in view of the creation of a future museum space. More specifically, lighting, fire-prevention, security and video surveillance systems will be set up and appropriate furnishings will be prepared to style the exhibition route.
A virtuous example of public-private collaboration that returns one of the key monuments in the history of humanity to the world. From today the Augustus Mausoleum comes back to life for locals and tourists alike, thanks to the optimisation of the site carried out by Fondazione TIM, which has now allocated an additional 2 million euros for these and other initiatives.
To give new life to the spaces around the monument, the site fencing has in fact become a permanent installation measuring approximately 300 linear metres on the east, north and west sides, allowing the public to immerse themselves in the history of Augustus and the Mausoleum. The hoarding features gold coloured images and texts on a black background, telling of the life of Rome's first emperor and the various uses of the sepulchre over the centuries. Twelve lenticular printed panels and five hollow masks showing the face of Augustus add surprise and depth to the tale, giving the optical illusion of movement in the images depicted and a three-dimensional feel. Finally, the hoarding space will be “immersed” in a musical atmosphere that will offer pieces taken from the repertoire of the programme of excellence of the period of the Auditorium of Augustus. In addition to the special features on the hoarding, the Mausoleum will be lit up every day from dusk by 55 varying-sized LED modules which will provide light of various colours that can be changed, creating spellbinding images.
The history of Augustus, the numerous transformations of the Mausoleum and its restoration will then be told, also with the help of 3D technology images, from the website www.mausoleodiaugusto.it, which - online as from today - will allow enthusiasts the world over to go on an interactive journey in the sections dedicated to the various contents. The website is also available in English and is optimised for viewing on PC, smartphone and tablets (Android, iOS and Windows).
“We are restoring light to a masterpiece of ancient Rome, abandoned for years right in the heart of the city” - says mayor Virginia Raggi, - “thanks to the valuable contribution made by Fondazione TIM, Rome’s locals and tourists will finally be able to reclaim one of the most fascinating architectonic works. Rome is once again taking care of the wealth left us by the past and making it available to its locals and to visitors from all over the world”, she concludes.
“Bringing the Augustus Mausoleum back to the heart of cultural life, restoring its complete usability for the benefit of the citizens of Rome and the world, was, for the administration of Rome Capital” - affirms Rome’s superintendent of Cultural Heritage, Claudio Parisi Presicce - “an objective pursued with great determination over the years, which would not have been possible had it not been for the major donation made by Fondazione TIM. This new patronage, which allows for the optimisation of one of Rome’s most important monuments, once again goes to show the extent to which pooling public-private resources can help increase the value of the historic and cultural heritage we are so honoured to hand down to future generations”.
“We are proud to work with Rome Capital to ensure the recovery of one of the most historically significant locations for the world’s archaeological heritage”, declared Executive Chairman of the TIM Group and Chairman of Fondazione TIM, Giuseppe Recchi. “We place our technological skills as an Italian company at the service of the country and contribute to the recovery of the Augustus Mausoleum with the aim of restoring life to what we believe will be one of the most popular places to visit for Italians and foreigners alike. Ours is not mere sponsorship, but rather a new mode of participation through which private businesses can help optimise the country’s historic and cultural heritage: in addition to the restoration, we will in fact also be developing an innovative multimedia tour experience of the Mausoleum, which will make the narrative capacity of Italian treasures yet more fascinating and spectacular”, added Mr Recchi.
While this second phase is underway, conservative restoration works continue. Started last 31 October (for an amount of 4,275,000 euros, of which 2 million were supplied by Mibact and 2,275,000 by Rome Capital), the activities mainly involve consolidation works aiming to avoid any further deterioration in the thousand-year-old materials and possibilities of collapse. The restoration project also envisaged the archaeological surveys aiming to acquire more in-depth and, very probably, definitive knowledge of the original architectonic structure of the Mausoleum and what still remains of its decoration. The extent of the plundering that has taken place over the centuries, in fact, coupled with the complex, diversified architectonic transformations that have gradually altered the intended purpose of the monument, have given rise to great uncertainty as to the reconstruction hypotheses considered from the late fifteenth century to date.
It is the first comprehensive restoration project to be undertaken on the Mausoleum, carried out more than eighty years after the isolation chosen by the Governor during Fascism.
Rome, 02 May 2017