Italy plans to restore Emperor Nero’s golden palace (among others)

January 18, 2016

The Italian government is ready to spend 300 millions of euros to bring back to life and splendor some of its most important heritage sites. Among them, Emperor Nero’s golden palace, the walls of medieval Siena and the foundations of Venice: they will all receive the attention they need.

300 millions of euros is definitely a huge amount of money, and yet Italy has so much to take care of, in terms of thousands of years’ worth of art and architecture: 6 millions of euros will help prop up the northern canal city of Venice, the walls of Siena will be restored at a cost of over 2 millions of euros over the next three years, while Emperor Nero’s golden palace (Domus Aurea) will receive 13 millions because of the peculiar condition the monument is in: built by Nero to celebrate himself, it was later buried by Emperor Trajan. At least 50 millions of euros will be spent on security alarms and video surveillance of the many historical sites in Italy, often damaged by zealous tourists or not-so-smart citizens.

The 300 millions will cover a total of 241 heritage sites and the funds will be immediately available. Among the other projects, there’s the renovation of museums, galleries, libraries and palaces across Italy, including Rome’s Palazzo Venezia.

Italy hopes the boost in terms of fund will help some of the most amazing places in the world come back to their ancient splendor: the government’s plans come after many years of crisis, since the culture budget had been slashes since the economic crisis hit the country, in 2007. Sadly, the slash had tragic consequences: not only many sites were left without any renovation, but some were lost forever, like Pompeii’s Temple of Venus - which collapsed in heavy rains in 2014.

The investment is in addition to €360 million already injected into restoring and maintaining sites in Italy’s impoverished southern regions. The EU has also made significant contributions, putting €41 million into the restoration of Pompeii alone.

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