Tod’s Group is proud to support the restoration of the Colosseum, the renowned symbol of Italian history. A major symbol of Italian history, a priceless monument, the world’s largest amphitheater, the Colosseum is brought back to its former glory, after decades of decay, thanks to the first-rate experts of the Country.
It’s the latest in a string of high-profile renovations throughout Italy, many of which have been sponsored by luxe Italian fashion brands: the Spanish Steps are being spruced up courtesy of Bulgari, while Fendi donated the funds to care for the iconic Trevi Fountain.
It’s been five years since Diego Della Valle, CEO of the luxury fashion company Tod’s, signed himself up to financially take on one of the most epic and expensive restoration projects in the world—that of Rome’s Colosseum. The monument, built roughly between 70-80 A.D., was in dire need of some TLC, especially after chunks of stone reportedly fell from the exterior in 2011. Now Tod’s has officially announced the completion of phase one of the $33 million project, with newly refurbished spaces that include the cleaning of the northern and southern facades, replacing damaged mortar in 31 archways, and replacing the arch enclosure system with brand-new gates. The next phase of the restoration will focus on the Colosseum’s underground vaults and passageways.
THE INTERVENTION PLAN
The “intervention plan” for the restoration of the Flavian amphitheatre is a project requested by the government commissioner for Rome’s archaeological areas and Ancient Ostia in collaboration with the superintendent for Rome’s Archaeological Heritage and supported by Tod’s.
The first part of the intervention plan is completed with the restoration of the northern and southern prospectus (approximately 13,300 square meters), and the replacement of the actual locking system of arches with new gates.
The plan foresees the restoration of the ambulatory and basements of the Colosseum, the retrofit compliance and implementation of standard equipment and the creation and repositioning from internal to an external visitors’ service and reception area.
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS
- 10.150 m2 of travertine surfaces restored
- 1,700 kg of different colour and graininess lime and inerts
- 13,000 photos taken to document the Colosseum Restoration
- 1,200 m2 of gates, frames and iron parapets
- 81,895 identified elements in the northern and southern prospect
PHASES OF RESTORATION
1. SURFACE MAPPING
PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY AND MAPPING OF SURFACES NEEDING TO BE RESTORED.
2. SURFACE CLEANING
WASHING OF THE SURFACE WITH NEBULOUS WATER SPRAY: THE ALTERNATING ACTION OF NEBULOUS WATER SPRAYING AND SCRUBBING WITH SORGHUM BRUSHES GRADUALLY REMOVING DEPOSITS OF DIRT TO REVEAL THE CRACKS IN THE MONUMENT, THUS SAFEGUARDING THE PATINA OF AGE.
4.3. CONSOLIDATION AND REBONDING
REBONDING OF TRAVERTINE CHIPS WITH NON-HYDRAULIC LIME MORTAR AND INJECTION OF HYDRAULIC LIME MORTAR.
4. POINTING OF CAVITIES AND CRACKS
PREPARATION OF MORTAR: SIEVING OF BLACK POZZOLANA. APPLICATION OF MORTAR WITH A POINTING TROWEL.
TREATMENT OF THE POINTING TO MAKE IT BLEND MIMETICALLY WITH THE TRAVERTINE SURFACES.
5. REMOVAL OF POINTING NO LONGER SUITABLE
MECHANICAL REMOVAL OF CEMENTS WITH MICRO-CHISELS.
6. LOCALIZED CLEANING
REMOVAL OF DEPOSITS NOT PERTINENT TO THE ORIGINAL SURFACE BY LOCALIZED PRECISION MICRO-SANDBLASTING.
7. INSTALLATION OF GATES
REPLACEMENT OF THE CURRENT ARCH ENCLOSURE SYSTEM WITH WROUGHT IRON GATES.
Here’s to hoping that this nearly 2,000-year-old stadium, which once sat up to 80,000 spectators, reclaims its proper grandeur. And, yes, it will be a long and arduous feat, until the amphitheater is finally brought back to its former glory. But Rome wasn’t built in a day.