Cultural Postcards + [Southern Europe]

Italy: Rome seeks 31 mln euros to save Nero's palace
Experts say they've discovered how to rescue Nero's underground Golden Palace from further decay and eventually reopen the ancient emperor's entertainment complex to the public: uproot trees in the park that sits atop it.

Rome seeks 31 mln euros to save Nero's palace
A journalist scans the frescoed ceilings of a room during a visit organized for the media of the Roman Emperor Nero's Golden Palace 'Domus Aurea' in Rome, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Archaeologists and restorations experts said Wednesday that research, including digital simulation aimed at solving the Domus Aurea’s chronic humidity problem, has indicated that trees in a park on the Oppian Hill hurt the palace’s stability. The nearly 2,000-year-old structure was closed to visitors in 2010, after decades of stability problem. Tree roots and rainwater sink into the walls, damaging frescoes and causing parts of the ceiling to fall off [Credit: AP/Domenico Stinellis]

Archaeologists and restoration experts said Wednesday that research, including digital simulationsm, aimed at solving the Domus Aurea's chronic humidity problem, show that removing the trees will help prevent further damage.

The nearly 2,000-year-old structure, under the Oppian Hill, was closed to visitors in 2010 after decades of stability problems. Tree roots and rainwater sink into the walls, damaging frescoes and causing parts of the ceiling to fall off.

Also being developed is a system to expel humid air.

Budget-tight Italy hopes private sponsors will pay for the 31-million-euro ($42 million) project.

Source: The Associated Press [June 18, 2014]