Monumental lighting: A new project heralds the restoration of the Roman Empire

The illumination of monuments doesn't ordinarily attract national headlines. But in Italy, a project to light 22 monuments in the 120,000-sq.-yd. (100,000-sq.-m) central archaeological area of the Roman Forum has captured the imagination of the nation.

The Forum was originally a marshy valley bottom used as a cemetery, but the first Etruscan king made canals from the Cloaca Maxima stream, dried the area, and had it paved. It then became a large square for meetings. Soon, the first imp

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