11/28/2012 08:50 am ET

Rome Colosseum Gets Protective Barrier To Keep Tourists Safe

The ancient Colosseum of Rome, site of historic gladiator battles, will soon be getting its own suit of armor.

Italian authorities are planning a protective barrier, made of cast iron columns, that will encircle the structure, reports Reuters. It will sit from 5 to 16 meters from the Colosseum's walls to keep tourists at a safe distance in the event of falling wall fragments.

Back in 2010, the Italian government was looking for private sponsors to help pay for the restoration of the Colosseum. At the time, only 35% of the structure was open to the public due to safety concerns. Those concerns arose again in late 2011, when eyewitness accounts told of bits of rock falling from the crumbling Colosseum. Then, in October of this year it was revealed that the structure is also leaning.

As of November, UPI reported that repairs to the Colosseum will begin in December, and will be underwritten by the president and CEO of Italian leather goods company Tod's.

Perhaps someone will step up next to restore the Trevi Fountain, which has also been crumbling due to an unusually cold winter this year.

Rome has been taking steps -- however controversial -- to maintain the integrity of the city. In September, authorities announced that the "love locks" attached to the Ponte Milvio would be removed. And, in October, it was decreed that tourists who eat around many of the monuments in the historic city center would face a fine.

It's not just Rome that has gotten serious about cleaning up. Last year Pisa moved to ban trashy souvenirs, and Venice also cracked down on its love locks.

Maybe the rules will be more relaxed at the planned Romaland theme park.



Love Locks