Save the Gladiator Tomb, Sign the iPetition

Please join me in voic­ing your con­cern for sav­ing the Gladiator’s Tomb, a unique cul­tural her­itage site that runs the risk of being reburied per­ma­nently for lack of fund­ing.  Together with the AIRC, I am hop­ing to get 5,000 sig­na­tures on the iPe­ti­tion to save the Gladiator’s Tomb.

In 2008, on the Via Flaminia in the north­ern part of con­tem­po­rary Rome, archae­ol­o­gist found an impres­sive mar­ble mau­soleum, among other note­wor­thy tombs, along a well-preserved sec­tion of ancient road.  The press was quick to call this par­tic­u­lar tomb “Tomb of the Glad­i­a­tor” since the tomb itself was com­mis­sioned by and for Mar­cus Non­ius Macri­nus, an promi­nent gen­eral under the reign of Mar­cus Aure­lius.  Macri­nus’  life was par­al­leled in the Oscar-winning film Glad­i­a­tor (2000, Rid­ley Scott) with the general-then-gladiator char­ac­ter Max­imus mag­nif­i­cently played by Rus­sell Crowe. Upon its dis­cov­ery and nick­name,  the  world responded enthu­si­as­ti­cally because of its rela­tion­ship with the larger-than-life Max­imus, who rep­re­sented so much of Rome and cre­ated such enthu­si­asm for ancient Roman cul­ture, as well as the over­whelm­ingly impor­tant his­toric, archi­tec­tural, and epi­graph­i­cal qual­i­ties of the site itself.

Over the past decade and a half of liv­ing and work­ing in Rome, I have been for­tu­nate to visit the site on numer­ous occa­sions, and I am con­stantly struck by the enor­mity of the site.  It is beau­ti­ful– both his­tor­i­cally and phys­i­cally.  I think any­one that comes to the site can­not help but have an imme­di­ate con­nec­tion to the past.  I am also in awe of the amount of mud that buried site thus pre­serv­ing it (45 feet in height)- it gives you an idea of both what the archae­ol­o­gists had to over­come but also how much lucky they were to even find it.

The superintendency’s recent (and almost abrupt) deci­sion to rebury the site for preser­va­tion is laud­able in that they want to pre­serve the site.  How­ever, the his­tor­i­cal impor­tance of the site mer­its fur­ther atten­tion and exca­va­tion, not sim­ply cov­er­ing up. We have too much to lose here. If we have to pick and choose, this is one worth fight­ing for.  Please join me in sign­ing and shar­ing this iPe­ti­tion now.

Discussion22 Comments Category Archaeology, Conservation, Culture, Excavation, Rome Tags , , , , , , ,

22 Responses to Save the Gladiator Tomb, Sign the iPetition

  1. Sarebbe un vero pec­cato risep­pel­lire questo antico splen­dore. Ricor­dat­evi che ROMA e’ la citta’ piu’ bella del mondo!!!

  2. Daje

  3. I’m Ital­ian and I think that we could do other iPe­ti­tions for sav­ing Pom­peii and other ancient ruins..it’s our past and it isn’t dif­fi­cult to keep it alive.

    • I sec­ond that– there need to more online oppor­tu­ni­ties to get peo­ple to sign up and voice their sup­port for the right things (proper use of fund­ing)– and account­abil­ity, for Pete’s sake!

  4. a part­ner­ship between pub­lic funds and pri­vate funds should be orga­nized to pro­vide the proper view­ing for such a discovery

  5. Dar­ius–

    Have you tried nom­i­nat­ing the tomb for World Mon­u­ments Fund Watch pro­gram? If any­one can help save this spec­tac­u­lar site, I believe WMF can.

    http://www.wmf.org/content/nomination-guidelines

    Best, Nicole

    • I do indeed know the WMF folks– and I haven’t con­tacted them, yet. Surely, though w/ all the press and peti­tion being signed– there are things hap­pen­ing– meet­ings at super­in­ten­dency today (SAR) and also the Min­istry of Culture.

  6. I’m an Ital­ian stu­dent of ancient lit­ter­a­ture, and I am studing in this moment for the exam of Roman arche­ol­ogy. I can’t do noth­ing for this.

    • Yes, by com­ment­ing, you are express­ing inter­est– that is impor­tant– to carry for­ward the dis­cus­sion. Sign­ing and shar­ing the ipe­ti­tion (costs noth­ing) would be good too. Thank you and good luck w/ the exam. In boca a lupo!

  7. Sav­ing the gladiator’s tomb means to start sav­ing Italy!! Don’t leave us alone.

  8. E’ una bel­lis­sima iniziativa!

  9. Roma caput mundi

  10. Per for­tuna che in Italia e nel mondo c’è qual­cuno che si inter­essa al nos­tro pat­ri­mo­nio e tiene desta l’attenzione che finireb­bero nel dimenticatoio.Il prob­lema dei nos­tri siti non è solo di natura finanziaria ma anche di idee ma anche di buro­crazia. Io farei entrare i pri­vati anche stranieri purche tengano il luogo aperto al pub­blico ma in Italia quando si parla di pri­vati suc­cede il finimondo.

    • Si– pri­vati ma traspar­enti, con­trol­lati. Evoluzione amico mio e’ nec­es­sario in Italia per i beni– ci sono tanti mod­elli ottimi– per esp. Eng­lish Her­itage, WMF, ecc. Si Italia e’ davvero unica!

  11. no com­ment!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. All ancient ruins should be pre­served before they are lost for­ever. And…pictures don’t do the ruins jus­tice, you must see them to fully under­stand their beauty. Once you do you’ll hope­fully do more than just sign a petition.

  13. I would like to make a small cash dona­tion if there is a match­ing cor­po­rate spon­sor (Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures, Dream­Works Pic­tures, Rus­sell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Sir Derek Jacobi maybe?). Con­sid­er­ing the film grossed more than $457 mil­lion for an ini­tial invest­ment of $103M, ’tis the sea­son for them to show a lit­tle love.

    BTW, from what I read online Gen. Mar­cus Non­ius Macri­nus was never a glad­i­a­tor; did he ever own a glad­i­a­to­r­ial ludus or is the press tak­ing a lit­tle “artis­tic license”? Nonethe­less, I think it is a worth­while endeavor. Good luck.

    • You are very kind. There is no mech­a­nism now for the Min­istry or super­in­ten­dency to accept cash dona­tions that would directly ben­e­fit the site. But there are prece­dents that can accom­mo­date such funds in private-public part­ner­ships (such as the Her­cu­la­neum Con­ser­va­tion Project). We hope in the new year to have more answers about the sit­u­a­tion. I have expressed my organization’s inter­est in pur­su­ing such poten­tial spon­sors as you noted. We’ll see what 2013 brings! (Yes, artis­tic license, to be sure; but it works. And the site is truly amazing.)

  14. Creo que esta tumba al igual que los demás mon­u­men­tos arqui­tec­tóni­cos a nivel inter­na­cional son pat­ri­mo­nio de la Humanidad.Los gob­ier­nos tienen dinero para lo que quieren.NO TE RINDAS.MARIUS NONIUS SOMOS TODOS.EGO SUM MARCUS NONIUS.

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