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Rome unveils ancient underground basilica after facelift

World News | Published:

The structure, near a gateway to ancient Rome known as Porta Maggiore, dates from the 1st century.

An ancient underground basilica that only came to light a century ago has had a facelift in Rome, and its refreshed splendor has been unveiled.

The structure, near a gateway to ancient Rome known as Porta Maggiore, dates from the first century.

Italy Underground Basilica
An inside view of the underground Basilica of Porta Maggiore (Fabio Frustaci/ANSA/AP)

Water infiltrating from above had left its inner walls encrusted with mould, bacteria and calcium deposits.

The basilica is decorated with splendid stucco work depicting mythological figures and daily life scenes.

Italy Underground Basilica
Scenes on the wall of the basilica (Fabio Frustaci/ANSA/AP)

A Swiss foundation dedicated to the restoration of artwork and monuments paid for the cleaning of the basilica.

Tourists can visit on the second, third and fourth Sundays of each month on reservation.

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