The Arena of Verona will be a museum. Meanwhile, the first restoration work has been completed

The first restoration work on the Arena of Verona has been completed. The famous monument will become a real museum.

Launched in 2019 thanks to €14 million in funding provided by Unicredit Banca and Fondazione Cariverona under the Art Bonus, the ongoing restoration of theArena di Verona is an unprecedentedly ambitious project. The goal is not only to use the famous monument as a venue for performances and music, but also to make it a true museum.

The results of the work already carried out are already clearly visible: the steps are returning to their original color, they have been cleaned of the time-worn patina and sealed to prevent water infiltration. The same has been done for the archways, thanks to specialized workers and the use of the most suitable materials; in fact, investigations and surveys have been carried out on the structures and interventions carried out in the past.

In May the first three of the ten new toilets that will replace the current ones, which date from the late 1950s, will be ready. For the toilets, the exterior workmanship technique has been adopted, which involves making the cells on site and laying them on the floor without going to the masonry and architectural parts.

Then, within the next three years, the engineering work will be completed, which focused mainly on the underground level, where the water, sewage and fire-fighting systems, which are now completely obsolete, were built from scratch.

Also added are the museum redevelopment works, among the strategic objectives of the Art bonus intervention in order to improve the accessibility of the Arena as a monument that can be visited in its main spaces, including the median gallery, which, during the winter season when no shows are held, can be walked entirely. Already being studied by the Superintendency and the Civic Museums sector is the identification of methodological solutions for the setting up of special information spaces and dedicated to multimedia communication, in which visitors can receive in-depth information related to the amphitheater, its history and its dual nature as a place of culture and a place of entertainment.

“We are witnessing something historic and that will remain for centuries,” said Verona Mayor Federico Sboarina. "This intervention allows us not only to return the amphitheater to its original beauty, but also to project it into a new dimension, that of a museum, which will help make it even more unique and extraordinary. The time has come to prepare for the opera season that will begin on June 19 with the performance conducted by maestro Muti; we work for the opera and concert audiences, but also for the million visitors who enter the Arena every year. I can only be extremely proud of what we have done so far, even during the pandemic, and of the goals we have set with this project. We are rewriting the history of our amphitheater, we are doing it through the synergy of institutions in the area, aware of what the arena represents for our city from a historical, artistic, cultural as well as economic point of view."

“This is a really complex and articulated construction site, which requires special care and attention,” explained Public Works Councillor Luca Zanotto. “Within a few years we will have a refurbished amphitheater, visibly more beautiful thanks to the restoration of the tiers and archways, but also more functional and safer, with a new technological system adapted to the needs of the world’s most famous open-air theater. Not to mention the new toilets, the current ones are no longer adequate also due to poor maintenance in the past years. Today we are handing over the monument to Arena Foundation, the actual construction work will resume in the fall, but the work will not stop completely even during the summer. Our goal is to finish the work on schedule, we are on track despite the health emergency.”

“The Art bonus has triggered a mechanism of protection and knowledge of the amphitheater that will be completed with the creation of the museum route,” added Superintendent Vincenzo Tinè. “Now the first results are finally visible, a project that is the result of a long preliminary work, to which the Superintendence has made a non-trivial contribution and which seizes the opportunity to make visible the restoration and history of the monument, including its more recent function as an open-air theater for opera and pop music performances.”

“A substantial intervention on one of the iconic places of the Italian artistic heritage and a symbol in the world of our Verona,” added Fondazione Cariverona Director General Giacomo Marino. “Remarkable work related to the engineering part, what is not seen but is essential to preserve the Arena and enhance it to the fullest. Today we wanted to be here to share with the city what has been accomplished so far, well the methodological approach of ’minimal intervention’, it guarantees to keep the beauty of the artifact intact. Also crucial is the museum project, with a million potential visitors a year, the Arena is set to become a Mr. Museum.”

“Never before have we waited for this day like this year. In a little while we will begin the stage and tiers operations, the people of Verona will hear the hammers in action. For us it is a strong signal toward the return to the normality we have all been waiting for and for which we have never stopped working,” commented Fondazione Arena Superintendent Cecilia Gasdia.

“The hope is to reopen all museums, theaters and cultural venues as soon as possible,” concluded Culture Councillor Francesca Briani. “The arena’s museum route will further enrich our city’s cultural offerings.”

The Arena of Verona will be a museum. Meanwhile, the first restoration work has been completed
The Arena of Verona will be a museum. Meanwhile, the first restoration work has been completed

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