Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Plan to Rebury Famous Gladiator's Tomb on Hold

Friday, January 25, 2013

Macrinus-TombROME, ITALY—Last month, Italy’s cash-poor ministry of culture announced plans to rebury the mausoleum of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, the Roman general who inspired Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator. Discovered in 2008, the tomb seemed destined to become a tourist destination, but with no money available to conserve the ruins, the government deemed reburial the best option to preserve the site. Since the announcement, though, the public reaction has led Italian officials to reconsider that course of action. Among the many protesting the reburial was Russell Crowe himself, who told La Repubblica that, “Of all the great nations of the world, Italy in particular should be a leader in promoting the importance of exploring and conserving the ancient past.”