Italy launches international search for new director of the Colosseum

Italy has launched an international search for a new director for its most recognisable landmark – the Colosseum, where sweat-stained gladiators once fought to the death and terrified wild animals were slaughtered in their tens of thousands.

The ancient amphitheatre in Rome attracts five million visitors a year but has been plagued for years by mismanagement, long queues and maintenance problems, with chunks of masonry regularly crumbling from its 2,000-year-old stone walls.

Its guardians have also struggled to prevent tourists from daubing their names in felt pen or scratching their initials on the walls. The hunt for an international director, who will receive a salary of around 150,000 euros, was announced by Dario Franceschini, the culture minister.

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