Azerbaijan funds excavation works in Italy

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan has funded another excavation work in Italy.

The government of Azerbaijan has reportedly donated 1 million euros to the Italian capital, Rome, so it can begin excavating the city’s Imperial Forum, BBC News reported.

Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino plans to create an archaeological park in the middle of the city by linking the Imperial Forum to other Roman forums built by the emperors Augustus, Caesar, Trajan and Nerva.

The donation from Azerbaijan would fund the first phase of the project – digging for artifacts under pedestrian street Via Alessandrina – and connect the Imperial Forum to Trajan’s Forum for the first time.

“We believe we’ll find sculptures and key architectural fragments,” city archaeology superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce said. Meanwhile, the city will continue fundraising and the mayor said he is in contact with Italian and international philanthropists.

Marino has made it a priority to preserve Rome’s ancient heritage. Last year he restricted traffic on Via dei Fori Imperiali – a road running from the Imperial Forum to the Colliseum. This year it will be off-limits to cars between June 28 and August 31.

Earlier, Azerbaijan and the Vatican signed two agreements on restoration of a monument to Zeus, and reconstruction of Sistine Chapel at Vatican Museum.

Moreover, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Vatican signed an agreement back on June 2012 on restoration of Sacred Marcellino and Pietro catacombs, which is an important contribution to the Christian world.

The ancient heritage which has not been fully studied occupy a special place among the most ancient Christian monuments in historical and architectural terms.

Among 60 catacombs located around the city of Rome, Marcellino and Pietro catacombs are very significant and interesting ones for the Christian world. They are located in Lavikano street. Including his grave and also the mausoleum built in honor of his mother empress Helena, this catacomb is a sign of value given by emperor Konstantin to tolerance.