Want to buy the Colosseum in Rome? That’s €77 billion, says Deloitte

14 October 2022 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read
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For anyone seeking to splurge on prestige purposes, a new report has put a price tag on one of the wonders of the modern world. According to Deloitte, the world-famous Colosseum of Rome is worth €77 billion.

The Flavian Amphitheatre was completed in Rome, in the year 80 AD. In the almost two-millennia that have passed since then, the theatre has become best known famous under a different name, though. With a circumference of more than 500 metres, and a facade height of just under 50 metres, the building can rightly be called colossal – landing it the moniker which it goes by now: the Colosseum.

In the times of the Roman empire, the facility was key part of the ruling-class efforts to placate their subjects with ‘bread and circuses’ – hosting famously bloody gladiatorial duels, as well as battles between animals.

The Colosseum in Rome

The Colosseum is significantly more peaceful these days, though, and in 2007, it was named as one of the seven new wonders of the world; alongside the Chichen Itza, Christ the Redeemer, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra, and the Taj Mahal.

Of course, the value of such a timeless symbol of human ingenuity and architectural achievement could never be cheapened with a price-tag of any kind. But when has something like that ever deterred entrepreneurs of trying to do just that? In a move some might say demonstrates an understanding of the price of everything, and the value of nothing, experts from Big Four firm Deloitte set to work to estimate the cost of purchasing the Colosseum.

Everything must have its price

Irked by the suggestion the ancient landmark was ‘priceless’, the Italian branch of Deloitte assessed the Colosseum across several main dimensions. The first of these was the most calculable: the economic value of the Colosseum to the modern Italian economy.

According to the researchers, about 7 million tourists visited the building every year before the pandemic. Assuming that normal service resumes as the lockdown era is now in the past, it will soon resume bringing in around €1.4 billion in revenue. Deloitte added that the attraction also supports some 42,700 full-time jobs, enabling thousands more people to continue contributing to the economy.

However, the real value of an “iconic, historical and cultural place like the Colosseum” goes far beyond this contribution to the Italian economy, according to Marco Vulpiani. The Deloitte partner explained that its valuation also consists of “indirect use value” and – most importantly – “social value”. This social value mainly reflects “the existence value for society”.

To quantify these, Deloitte conducted a survey to gauge Italians' opinion of the Colosseum. For example, they were asked how much the survival of the Colosseum is worth to them. On average, Italians are willing to pay €57 annually, with modern residents of Rome inevitably assigning even more social value to ‘their’ Colosseum, with €91.

Meanwhile, an 87% majority consider the amphitheatre to be the most important monument in Italy. Some 70% added that the entire world should contribute financially to its expensive maintenance – with the latest refurbishment costing nearly €30 million.

Not appearing on Zoopla

In the end, this led Deloitte to arrive at a price tag of €76.8 billion for the Colosseum – or around 18 Chelsea Football Clubs, if going by the club’s 2022 sale price. The largest part of that sum – almost €75 billion – is attributed to its social value.

All of this is completely academic, however. Even if someone were willing to burn through €77 billion to own their own Colosseum, the building remains firmly not for sale. Deloitte's valuation report was not commissioned by a broker, but released on its own initiative, as part of a broader initiative by the firm to use cultural heritage and art as ‘engines for economic development.’

With Italy hosting more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country, the country is ideally positioned to be the focal point of the campaign, according to Deloitte. “The upgrading of the cultural and landscape heritage present in Italy must become a priority on the agenda of national and local institutions,” said Fabio Pompei, CEO of Deloitte in the Central Mediterranean region.