Normally as white as a bleached bone, the Ara Pacis, the emperor Augustus’s altar to peace, is being restored to what could have been its original colours for a series of evening openings from tonight, until April.
The famous monument represents the Augustan golden age of the early empire and was excavated from several metres under Rome’s busy main shopping street, via del Corso, during Italy’s Fascist era in the 1930s. The fragments were reassembled and finally housed in a wooden structure in piazza Augusto Imperatore.
A new structure to house the monument was opened in 2006. Designed by Richard Meier, the building has met with harsh criticism from local Romans and professional architects for its lack of congruence and integration with the centuries-old churches and buildings surrounding it.
This is the first time that sophisticated virtual technology will be used to project images and colours onto one of ancient Rome’s monuments.
Visitors will have several occasions to see the Ara Pacis in colour between 20:00 to 23:00 (last entrance at 22:00) on following dates:
Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February 2010
Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March 2010
Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April 2010
An exhibition about one of Italy’s best-loved musicians, Fabrizio de Andr, is on show in the exhibition space under the Ara Pacis. Tickets to an evening view of the Ara Pacis in colour, as well as entrance to the museum, costs EUR9 (reduced tickets are EUR7).