Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Part of ancient wall in Rome collapses

A 20-foot section of Rome's ancient Aurelian Wall collapsed near the capital's central train station after days of heavy rain, a conservation official said Friday.

The wall, part of a 16th-century restoration, crumbled into a pile of bricks Thursday evening after water infiltrated the section, said Paola Virgili, an official in charge of the wall's restoration. No one was reported hurt.

The Aurelian Wall — named after the third century emperor who built it to defend the city against the first barbarian onslaughts — surrounds Rome with more than 11 miles of fortifications, towers and gates.

Experts had previously determined that the entire wall section in the area, a 1,100-foot stretch in the north of the capital, was in danger of collapsing and they had planned to start restoring it Monday.