Augustus Stables in Rome to Be Reburied for Lack of Funds

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 02:30

While Rome just marked the 2,000th anniversary of Emperor Augustus’ death, celebrated yesterday, it’s bad news for an important archeological site built by Rome's first emperor.

The stables that housed the horses used for Circus Maximus’ races were discovered in recent years during an excavation project to build a large parking lot on the city’s central via Giulia. Built during Augustus’ reign, they were hailed by archeologists as an extremely important discovery when uncovered in 2009, revealing precious information on how imperial stables were built and on the racing teams of the time through the graffitis found on the walls.

In 2011, it was announced the stables would be preserved and open to visits. Those plans unfortunately fell off due to a lack of funding following this year’s budget cuts. The stables will be reburied and covered in waterproof cloths. This is standard procedure, according to officials, to safeguard the site for future generations. This way, artefacts and remains do not risk erosion or thefts, and can be re-excavated when funding permits.

Unlike other Roma sites, like the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, whose restoration is being privately funded by fashion houses Tod's, Bulgari and Fendi, no private sponsor so far has come to the rescue of Augustus’ stables, nor for Augustus' Mausoleum, which remain as anniversary celebrations continue.