Rome to 'paint' Trajan's Column with light

March 23, 2008

Archaeologists want to use light to recreate the brilliant colors once seen on Trajan's Column in Rome.

The chaste white of Roman temples and monuments is a product of centuries of wear that has removed the original paint. The archaeology department in Rome is discussing the technical details of creating a light beam that would temporarily repaint the column, with the power company Acea and researchers at Rome University, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.

Under the plan, the column would be illuminated on weekends for a few minutes every hour.

''Nothing acts like light to deepen our understanding, activating our emotional brain,'' said Maurizio Anastasi, head of the technical office in the city archaeology department.

The column was erected in A.D. 113 to celebrate Trajan's two successful campaigns against the Dacians, depicted in carved relief. Trajan, who reigned from 98 to 117, pushed the boundaries of the Roman Empire to their farthest extent.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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