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Monti throws Rome's gladiators to the lions


Italy

Monti throws Rome's gladiators to the lions

Rome’s gladiators face a battle for survival.

Mario Monti’s government has thrown them to the lions by banning them from posing with tourists for money.

A small group of costumed centurions protested on Thursday outside the Colosseum against the move, some of them scuffling with police.

Their message was that this injustice can never rule forever.

Davide has worked as a fake gladiator for nearly two decades.

“It’s absurd. I’ve been making my living like this for years to support family and now they want to kick us out,” he said.

The centurions say they add to the atmosphere at the Italian capital’s most famous landmark.

They insist they perform a popular service and that their costumes evoke the atmosphere of ancient Rome.

But Italy’s culture ministry says they have become too aggressive and that they need to have permits.

Last week, city police fined some of the gladiators for not having the correct authorisation.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno insisted they must obey the regulations.

“We will not let ourselves be blackmailed. Either the centurions accept the rules or they will have to go,” he said in a statement.

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