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Tin boxes with documents from 1845 found in Kolizej's foundations

Ljubljana, 3 June - Two tin boxes were found in the foundations of Kolizej on Saturday as the last bits of the 19th-century building from the era of the Austrian Empire in the centre of Ljubljana were being pulled down, according to the newspaper Dnevnik.

Kolizej being torn down in 2011.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
File photo

The demolition of Kolizej, a dilapidated multi-purpose facility in the centre of Ljubljana built in the mid-19th century, starts despite protests to protect the cultural monument.
Photo: Tamino Petelinsek/STA

Kolizej, a cultural monument in the centre of Ljubljana, in 2009, before it was torn down in 2011.
Photo: Daniel Novakovic/STA
File photo

Tin boxes were put into all four of Kolizej's cornerstones on 31 May 1845 as the launch of construction work was ceremoniously marked.

The tin boxes are however not a complete surprise since Slovenian editor and politician Janez Bleiweis reported on the ceremony in his weekly three days after the event.

"A square hole was made into each cornerstone and than one tin box containing today's story written on parchment was walled in in each of them ..." Bleiweis reported.

He also said that the four boxes had been placed into the cornerstones by high-profile regional and local politicians, including Mayor of Ljubljana Janez Hradecki.

The find will now be restored and put on show at a new luxurious development to be built on the site of Kolizej.

Ljubljana's chapter of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage said the parchment in one box was completely destroyed by humidity.

The other contained a copy of Laibacher Zeitung newspaper dated from 31 May 1845 plus another two damp sheets of paper with a drawing of Kolizej's ground plan and facade.

"We will be able to say more about the importance of the find after it has been restored and analysed. All we can say now is that it confirms the data we had about the history of the building," it said in a written statement for the STA.

Kolizej was build as a housing complex for 1,500 soldiers with stables based on plans by industrialist and architect Joseph Benedikt Withalm, who previously built a similar complex in his native Graz.

Withalm had offered the local authorities to build it with his own money, which the authorities embraced and gave him the necessary land in Gosposvetska Street.

Reitenburg, a company owned by businessman Jože Anderlič, now plans to build a Schellenburg Palace there once its building permit has been cleared, Dnevnik reported on Monday.

© STA, 2020