Yes - this is ridiculous news. And sad. Sort of hard to believe that a modern government can act like the Taliban:
Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government plans to tear down part of a Rome museum designed by U.S. architect Richard Meier, Corriere della Sera said, citing comments by Culture Undersecretary Francesco Giro.
A travertine stone wall at the Ara Pacis museum will be removed to facilitate viewing of two historic churches in the same square that houses the 2,000-year-old Mausoleum of Roman Emperor Augustus, Giro said yesterday at the museum, according to the report. A section of another travertine wall connected to the museum also will be knocked down, he said.
Giro said Roman Mayor Giovanni Alemanno agrees on the plan, and a joint meeting between the mayor's office and the Culture Ministry will be held in September or October to discuss technical issues, according to Corriere.
The Meier-designed museum was inaugurated in 2006 and houses the Ara Pacis, an altar constructed in 9 B.C. to commemorate the peace following Rome's Gallic and Spanish campaigns.