ROME, April 8 (UPI) -- The restoration of an architectural treasure in Rome, the mausoleum of Rome’s first emperor, could begin soon, Mayor Ignazio Marino said Tuesday.
The Mausoleum of Augustus, in central Rome, is of interest to an unidentified Saudi prince who Marino met during a trip to Saudi Arabia to secure funding for some of Rome’s ancient attractions.
Marino referred to the mausoleum as “one of the most costly to restore.”
Built in 28 B.C.E., the building has been used as a private residence, a bull-fighting ring and a concert hall before it fell into disrepair. Efforts to restore it, as well as other monuments, never were translated to action until private funding was found.
Marino said work to restore the building, and the conversion of the nearby Piazza Augusto Imperatore to a pedestrian area, is expected to start by the end of 2014. The start would coincide with the 2,000th anniversary of Augustus’ death in 14 C.E.