Photo: Urse Ovidiu
Last year, experts were surprised to discover that the Colosseum in Rome was leaning during routine maintenance operations. Now, it seems as if the problem might be more severe than first imagined, with the south side of the structure slanted more than 40 cm off of vertical.
After surviving the fall of the Roman Empire, various sacks and invasions, as well as the next 1,600 years, the ancient amphitheatre might succumb to a very recent phenomenon. The director of the site, Rosella Rea, has asked La Sapienza University and the IGAG geology institute to look into possible causes for the sagging, which might include disturbances from the busy traffic on roads nearby.
Some think that the sagging might also be the result of cracking within the concrete ring that lies beneath the structure, raising the possibility that stabilization, such as was carried out at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, might be necessary. For now, though, the Colosseum remains open to visitors.
[via The Guardian]