Rome has always had a lot to offer art lovers but will soon have a showcase setting of several museums to rival the Louvre in France.
A major piece of the puzzle includes having the Museum of Roman History move into a municipal building at the edge of the Circus Maximus, the ANSA news agency reported Thursday. There also will be a multimedia museum of ancient Rome and a new Museum of the Imperial Forums, while the Capitoline Museums has been refurbished.
"It will be a new Louvre," Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said in announcing the plans.
The Louvre covers about 70,000 square yards. The cluster of Rome museums, which will be called The Great Capitol, will total more than 60,000 square yards.
Among the artifacts on display will be the Forma Urbis Severiana, a marble plan of the city sculpted under Emperor Septimius Severus (146-211 A.D.) and never-seen treasures from storehouses, such as the ancient jewels of the Crepereia Trifena collection, tomb adornments and ivory dolls. There also will be artifacts found in recent digs in the forums, including a set of pillars in human form, called caryatids, from the Forum of Augustus.