ROME'S new Mayor Gianni Alemanno has renewed a pledge to remove a modern structure on the banks of the Tiber designed by US architect Richard Meier to protect an ancient monument.
The glass and marble structure surrounding the 2000-year-old Altar of Augustan Peace, inaugurated in 2006, is something "to remove," the right-wing Alemanno said today after taking the oath of office.
"It's obviously not the first priority," the former neo-fascist said, while adding: "We should review the structures in the city centre."
Mr Meier's work took seven years to build and drew harsh criticism, especially from the right.
The ancient white marble altar, built to commemorate the peace after the Emperor Augustus' triumphal return from wars in Spain and Gaul, features finely sculpted bas-reliefs.
The dictator Benito Mussolini had the structure moved to the banks of the Tiber in 1938.
Mr Alemanno, who unexpectedly won a run-off election on Tuesday against outgoing national Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli, in 2006 called Mr Meier's work a "scar in the heart of the city, an act of intellectual arrogance against the citizens".
He vowed that if the right took City Hall it would move the structure to the suburbs.