Verona Arena damaged by giant steel comet

Arena to stay shut to visitors until 30 January.

Verona’s Arena is closed to the public after the landmark site was damaged when the base of a huge steel star fell into the Roman amphitheatre on Monday.

An investigation is underway into the incident which occurred during the dismantling of the 78-ton comet star – part of Verona’s annual Christmas decorations – in the adjacent Piazza Bra.

Some steps in the cavea – where the audience sits during summer concerts – were damaged when the base of the installation become dislodged and fell suddenly into the site.

Verona’s Arena remains closed to the public. Photo L’Arena.

The damage is being assessed by experts and the site will remain closed to visitors until 30 January, reports state broadcaster RAI News.

The entire monument is currently sealed off as prosecutors launch an investigation into the incident which occurred on the day the arena is closed to the public.

The gigantic steel structure, 70 metres high and weighing 78 tons, was designed by architect Rinaldo Olivieri and has been set up at the Arena every Christmas since 1984.

Italy’s culture undersecretary Vittorio Sgarbi told local newspaper L’Arena that the star installation as “an historic mistake” and that it “should no longer be authorised”.

Photo credit: Fabio Michele Capelli /