Augustus' Resting Place

Ian Fitzgerald looks forward to the restoration of Augustus' tomb in Rome.

Few things better represent Christianity’s triumph over pagan Rome than the fate of Caesar Augustus’ final resting place. While St Peter’s and all the other major basilica in Rome are currently being spruced up in readiness for the millennium, Augustus’ mausoleum in the centre of the city continues to slowly fall apart.

But a bold new plan to rescue and renovate the area around the first Roman Emperor’s tomb has just been approved by the city council and it looks as if Augustus may finally be able to rest in peace.

The plans hinge on the restoration of the site next to the mausoleum, the so-called Ara Pacis. The work, approved in March and beginning in the autumn financed by a mixture of private finance and public funding, will be carried out by the American architect Richard Meier, whose most recent work includes the critically-acclaimed new Getty museum in Los Angeles.

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