Ancient Roman Pantheon to start charging entry from Monday

Visitors to Rome’s Pantheon, one of the ancient world’s best-preserved monuments, will have to pay a 5 euro (NZ$8.75) entrance fee from Monday, Italy’s tourism ministry has said.

Now a church, the vast cylindrical former temple whose undamaged exterior wall supports a 43.3 metre-high (142 ft) dome, attracts millions of visitors every year, making it one of Italy’s top tourist draws.

The long-delayed introduction of a charge is part of a drive to squeeze more profit from Italy’s cultural assets. The tourism ministry is set to receive 70% of the revenue to help cover cleaning and maintenance. The rest will go to the Diocese of Rome.

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