Cultural Postcards + [Travel]

More Stuff: Nero’s Domus Aurea to reopen on Sunday in Rome
The remains of the Domus Aurea, or Golden House, the opulent villa that the Emperor Nero built for himself in the center of Rome, will reopen to guided visits on Sunday six years after it was closed because of collapses and safety concerns.

Nero’s Domus Aurea to reopen on Sunday in Rome
Part of the Domus Aurea in Rome, which will reopen to guided tours on Sunday 
[Credit Fabio Campana/European Pressphoto Agency]

The visits will take place on weekends so that archaeologists and restorers can continue to work on the four-year project, which will open new areas of the monument. Visitors can tour the work site and learn about techniques used in the restoration, which can be followed online. Culture Ministry officials on Friday announced a campaign to help raise the 31 million euros ($39 million) needed for the restoration.

Only a small amount of the villa remains visible; it once covered an area as large as three soccer fields. “This has been a tenacious and silent restoration,” the culture minister, Dario Franceschini, told reporters on Friday. “As people strolled in the gardens above, below ground, dozens of people continued the restorations.” The villa first opened to the public in 1999, but it was closed several times after collapses. It then closed for the long term in 2005 but restorations continued, stymied partially by infiltrations of water and roots from the garden that covers the structure. In the new project, the garden would be redesigned to safeguard the building.

“We don’t want people to think that we’ve resolved all the problems of the Domus Aurea,” said Fedora Filippi, the scientific director of the site. “But we wanted to explain to people what we’re doing so that they can participate.”

Author: Elisabetta Povoledo | Source: Arts Beat/NY Times [October 24, 2014]