Italy's government has given the green light for the refurbishment of Rome's famous ancient Colosseum. The Colosseum is one of the world's most iconic sites and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome and is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built. It was completed over two millennia ago in AD 80. The plans will see the monument fitted with a new floor that will allow visitors the chance to stand where Roman gladiators once fought for their lives. Gladiators were used to entertain audiences during the Roman Empire by fighting to the death with swords against other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals.
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Italy's Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced the high-tech project and said it would open to the public by 2023. It is projected to cost around 18.5 million euro, or $22.2 million. The Colosseum currently has no floor. Archaeologists removed the original floor in the 19th Century to expose the structure's network of underground tunnels. Mr Franceschini said the new floor would be "extraordinary" and would allow visitors to see "the majesty of the Colosseum" from its centre. He added: "It's another step forward toward rebuilding the arena. It is an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archaeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum."