Officials set Colosseum repair date for December

Italian cultural officials say a €25-million ($30-million) restoration of the Colosseum being paid for by the founder of luxury shoemaker Tod's will begin in December.

Officials announced Tuesday that the work is expected to take 2 1/2 years.

The ancient Roman arena has been blackened by pollution and rocked by vibrations from a nearby subway line.

Diego Della Valle has urged his entrepreneur friends to step up and help fix ailing Italian landmarks. Italy is chronically short of funds to maintain and protect its artistic and archaeological heritage.