Rome may not have been built in a day but experts decided last year that most of the city's ancient monuments would be destroyed by the end of the century if drastic restoration methods were not introduced quickly.
SV AND CU: Statues in the Olympic centre covered in graffiti (3 shots)
CU PULL BACK FROM: graffiti on statue TO crumbling mosaic walkway. (2 shots)
GV AND SV EXTERIOR: National Museum of Modern Art. (2 shots)
GV AND SV: Trevi Fountain (2 shots)
GV AND CU: Trajan Column.
LV AND CU: Bernini's Fountain with the figure of Triton under polythene cover (2 shots)
GV: The Coliseum
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Background: Rome may not have been built in a day but experts decided last year that most of the city's ancient monuments would be destroyed by the end of the century if drastic restoration methods were not introduced quickly. The effects of industrial pollution from factories, petrol fumes and vibrations from passing vehicles are eroding the city's stone, marble and mosaics.
SYNOPSIS: Some of the factors affecting the decay of Rome's famous landmarks are not chemical. Graffiti ranging from political slogans to obscenities, adorn many walls and statues. The Olympic centre built by Benito Mussolini in 1930 is one of the monuments in need of cleaning. The Mayor of Rome, Giulio Argan has appealed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for expert advice to save the city's treasures.
Mayor Argan's appeal was for technical aid rather than funds. He said last year that the only real solution to the city's problems would be to ban all motor traffic from the centre, but that this could not be achieved without major urban re-organisation involving weighty political and economic decisions. So Rome has opted for less drastic means of restoring its landmarks such as the famous trevi fountain, built in the eighteenth century and the Emperor Trajan's Column in the ancient Forum.
Bernini's fountain with the figure of Triton is now swathed in polythene awaiting careful restoration. Rome has three hundred fountains, many of great historic or artistic importance -- and all have suffered from the city's development. Even the ancient Roman Coliseum, two thousand years old, is in danger of collapsing before the year 2000.