Thursday 13 December 2012

Save the Gladiator Tomb in Rome (Mausoleum of Marcus Nonius Macrinus on the Via Flaminia)

Our friends over at Save Rome have asked us to sign this petition:
Save the Gladiator Tomb in Rome (Mausoleum of Marcus Nonius Macrinus on the Via Flaminia)

In the name of preserving one of the most important discoveries in Rome in decades, we appeal to:
* Ministro Lorenzo Ornaghi, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
* dott.ssa Mariarosaria Barbera, Soprintendente, Soprintendenz Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
* Anna Maria Buzzi, General Director, General Directorate of Management and Promotion of Cultural Heritage
* Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome
* Marco Perina, Assessore alla Cultura del XX Municipio

The site of the "Gladiator tomb" is one of overwhelming cultural and historic value not only for Italy but for all of humanity. Given the response from the academic world and public enthusiasm since its discovery in 2008 for the incredible level of preservation of the site, quality of the tombs and section of Via Flaminia road, and identification of Marcus Nonius Macrinus' mausoleum (readily linked in the press with Russell Crowe's Maximus Gladiator character from Ridley Scott's Gladiator), we believe that the study of site should continue and the site should not be abandoned nor reburied.
Currently, the funding of cultural heritage in Italy (and the world) is, indeed, lamentably lacking, but the "Gladiator tomb" site is exactly the sort of discovery that serves to remind us we need to support heritage sites beyond the initial excavation, discovery, and study. And few discoveries around world have struck a chord with such a large worldwide audience. Conservation of the site merits further attention and discussion on costs and overall plans for the site should be open for further discussion.

We, the undersigned archaeologists, scholars, scientists, and members of the general public from all over the world now join with an increasingly large number of Italian citizens to raise our voices in protest against the covering of this unique site and we advocate a forum to discuss alternative solutions.
Sign the petition here.


Sarah said...

In the context of the current economic situation in Italy, I believe that reburial of this site would actually save it in the long term rather than leaving it exposed. The sad reality is that there aren't any funds to provide genuine maintenance and conservation of Italy's (Europe's) heritage and until that provision can be made then leaving open-air archaeological sites simply results in their decay. If the Mausoleum is of such significance, then none of us want to see it slowly rotting away. Much better to take the brave decision to document and rebury so that it survives into the future - and hopefully a different political/economic/heritage management climate.

Jo Berry said...

Posted on behalf of Darius Arya:

Thank you very much @BloggingPompeii for posting our ipetition. And thank you very much for your comment, Sarah. I totally agree with you. The site should, at a minimum, be given a reprieve so that excavation and study can be completed. In the meantime, if we (and other parties) can elicit further ideas from the superintendency or provide an opportunity for a private sponsor to be found in short order, all the better. Otherwise, yes, the superintendency should indeed rebury the site for preservation purposes, as they previously stated. It is the responsible action to take in the absence of proper funding and site conservation management.
Darius Arya

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