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Atop Ancient Ruins, A Rock Opera About Emperor Nero Leaves Some Romans Unimpressed

A new musical seeks to present a different side of the emperor, known best for fiddling while Rome burned. But some historians object to what they see as the commercialization of Roman heritage.
The rock opera offers a fresh take on the story of Nero, one of history's most nefarious emperors. "His target was to give to the Romans, to the poor people, bread, games, entertainment," says artistic director Ernesto Migliacci. "He tried to make a real cultural revolution." Source: Sylvia Poggioli

Nearly 2,000 years after he held sway over ancient Rome, a notorious emperor is again causing outrage. The reason: Italian authorities approved construction of a massive stage amid the ruins over the Roman Forum for a rock opera about Nero, who ruled from 54 to 68 A.D.

Archaeologists and art historians are up in arms, denouncing what they see as the commercialization of

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