7 questions on crumbling monuments


Several decorative pieces have fallen off the Trevi Fountain in Rome, raising fears that one of the city's most famous structures needs a major restoration. Test yourself on other monuments in danger.

Detail of Trevi Fountain

1.) Multiple Choice Question

The Trevi fountain depicts Neptune, the Roman sea god, in a chariot pulled by aquatic horses. Who or what are the creatures guided by?

Trevi Fountain
  1. Nereids
  2. Tritons
  3. Dolphins


Legend has it that if you turn your back to the fountain, throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder you will return to Rome at some time in the future.

Detail of fountain

2.) Multiple Choice Question

The boss of which company vowed not to put "shoes on the Colosseum" after its 25m-euro (£20m) offer to sponsor the restoration of the Roman arena was accepted?

  1. Christian Louboutin
  2. Manolo Blahnik
  3. Tod's

3.) Multiple Choice Question

This prehistoric painting is from a cave complex that was closed to the public in the 1960s to prevent deterioration of the art caused by humidity and warmth from visitors. Tourists can view replicas nearby. Where is it?

Cave paintings
  1. France
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Australia

4.) Multiple Choice Question

This building in Washington DC was closed to visitors after it was damaged by an earthquake last summer. Which is it?

US building
  1. The Capitol building
  2. The Washington Monument
  3. The US Treasury Building

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Fresh conservation efforts are under way at this archaeological site as time and tourism take their toll on monuments carved into sandstone cliffs. Where is it?

City of rock
  1. Uplistsikhe - rock-hewn town, Georgia
  2. Lalibela - rock-hewn churches, Ethiopia
  3. Petra - city of stone, Jordan

6.) Missing Word Question

Great Wall is * than previously thought

  1. longer
  2. older
  3. degrading faster

7.) Multiple Choice Question

A German artist spent years travelling the world doing work on crumbling walls and monuments. Using which of the following?

  1. Plasticine
  2. Lego
  3. Bubblegum


According to the artist's website, this work was carried out in Bocchignano, Italy, a village close to Rome.

Lego work


  1. They are guided by conch-blowing tritons, mythological sea creatures
  2. It was Tod's Diego Della Valle. He has joined a number of fashion bosses who have become patrons of Italy's ancient architecture. The arena, which dates from AD80 and attracts some six million visitors a year, is blackened by pollution and shaken by the vibrations of an underground metro line that runs nearby.
  3. It's France. Nicknamed "the prehistoric Sistine Chapel", the Lascaux Caves are a complex in south-western France decorated with some of the most impressive and famous cave paintings in the world.
  4. It's the Washington Monument. The 170m (555ft) obelisk that soars over the US capital was damaged in the 23 August earthquake.
  5. It's Petra, famous for its deep-pink rock facades. Sandstone is a soft rock that is easily damaged. According to experts, Petra is also threatened by erosion, seismic damage and pollution.
  6. It's longer. The wall is 21,196km (13,170 miles) long based on the latest state survey results. A preliminary study released in 2009 estimated the wall at 8,850km. Only 8.2% of the original wall remains intact, with the rest in poor condition, according to the study.
  7. It's Lego. Artist Jan Vormann sometimes used small armies of volunteers to help do his work on damaged buildings and monuments.

Your Score

0 - 2 : Beyond repair

3 - 5 : Repaired

6 - 7 : Preserved

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).