Gladiators come back to life even if only virtually and they do so in the exact place where they were two thousand years ago: the ancient underground corridor that connected the gyms where the great Roman fighters trained in preparation for the often lethal duel. An underground corridor that connected the ludi – the gymnasiums built by Domitian – to the Colosseum arena comes back to life in the exhibition event “Gladiators in the Arena, between the Colosseum and Ludus Magnus”.
Technology at the service of history
Inside the gallery that connected the Colosseum with the Ludus Magnus, a one-of-a-kind installation was created. In fact, by combining the use of holographic projection with laser light technology, it was possible to build a one-of-a-kind experience. An educational experience that uses space as narrative material. Given the elongated shape of the gallery, it was possible to control the artificial lighting (the real co-protagonist of the installation) by creating such darkness that it prevented visitors from seeing the bottom of the space. The holographic projection, created on a transparent panel, thus appears like a traditional projection on an opaque screen shaped according to the layout of the gallery. Only by turning on the laser lights, distributed at regular intervals along the entire length of the space and carefully synchronized with the progress of the projected story, will the visitor be able to identify the correct spatial morphology of the architecture, thus perceiving the notable depth that characterizes the gallery, which itself becomes the narrative connection between the two places: the Ludus Magnus and the Colosseum.
The multimedia installation
The multimedia installation was created by the American company Hornblower in partnership with the Colosseum Archaeological Park. The projection shows the gladiators dressed in their original and colorful armor. The ancient cryptoporticus comes back to life thanks to a video mapping that allows the gladiators to “cross the wall”, built in 1800 to build a hydraulic collector.
Curated by Alfonsina Russo, Federica Rinaldi, Barbara Nazzaro and Silvano Mattesini, the exhibition allows you to relive the ancient atmosphere that was breathed during the fights of the Roman gladiators. The exhibition Gladiators in the Arena. Between Colosseum and Ludus Magnus it can be visited until 7 January 2024 in the underground spaces of the Colosseum archaeological park. More precisely in the Cryptoporticus of the Gladiators, recently restored and open to the public.
Knowledge leads to respect
Gladiators in the arena, explains the notary Claudio Togna, member of the Board of Directors of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, is an operation of memory education: greater knowledge is the first step towards being more aware and therefore more respectful of the value of the monuments of our “incredible” past.