After decades of neglect, the Mausoleum of Augustus is to be brought alive with a spectacular multimedia experience projected onto its 2,000-year-old walls. An Italian telecommunications company has contributed six million euros for its restoration, with its director promising an elaborate multimedia show that will tell the story of Augustus and ancient Rome.
Mausoleum of Augustus was built in 28 BCE and housed the remains of Emperor Augustus and the rest of the Julio-Claudian family. The building once stood around 120ft high and had a diameter of nearly 300ft. It was topped by a 15ft-tall bronze statue of Augustus. It was converted into a fortress in the Middle Ages and then a bull-fighting ring in the 18th century. It was finally made into a concert hall in the early 20th century before Mussolini ordered all modern additions to be stripped away, in a bid to associate himself with the greatness of Rome’s first emperor, whom he hoped to emulate. Previous efforts to restore the massive tomb have foundered over the years on bureaucracy, inter-departmental squabbling and lack of funding.