AIRC LAUNCHES PETITION TO SAVE “TOMB OF THE GLADIATOR”
Funding Cuts Put Archaeological Site at Risk of Being Reburied
The American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) has launched an online petition in an effort to save the “Tomb of the Gladiator” from being reburied. The marble mausoleum was commissioned by and for Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a prominent general under Marcus Aurelius, and whose life was paralleled in the Oscar-winning film Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott), in the character Maximus, played by Russell Crowe.
The actor is supporting AIRC’s online petition to preserve the site, and called the site “one of the most important discoveries in Rome in decades.” Crowe also showed his support through his Twitter account, @russellcrowe, by retweeting AIRC’s tweets about the cause from the AIRC Twitter account @saverome.
“This is an extraordinary site, it blows you away,” said Darius Arya, executive director of AIRC in Rome. “Burying these remains is a disaster – you wonder what is the point of archaeology.”
The site is 13,000 square meters in area—the equivalent of almost three American football fields—and was uncovered by archaeologists in 2008 on the Via Flaminia.
Due to budget cuts that began in 2010, the Archaeological Superintendency of Rome recently decided to rebury the site in order to preserve it, not having the €2 million-€3 million in funds that would be needed to conserve the site in its currently excavated state.
“The historical importance of this site merits further attention and excavation, as well as a concerted plan to make it accessible to the public,” said Arya. “I invite everyone interested in the responsible maintenance and preservation of ancient history to join with us in our efforts by signing and sharing AIRC’s online petition.”
The petition has already gathered more than one thousand signatures since its launch, and has been mentioned widely in the press, including La Repubblica, The Observer, The Daily Mail, Italy Magazine, Hispanic Business.comand TV coverage on Che Tempo Che Fa.
All it takes is one click!
Please sign AIRC’s petition now, to help reach the goal of 5,000 signatures: click here.
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