The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gladiator defiance

Rome, March 31 (Reuters): Centurions and gladiators in breastplates and plumed helmets besieged Rome’s Colosseum today in defiance of an official order banishing them from the monument.

“After 2,000 years, Rome is reliving the revolt of the centurions,” read a banner held aloft by the costumed characters, who eke out a living posing for tourist photos.

The culture ministry has ordered them away, complaining that they are a blight on the Colosseum, which attracts some three million visitors a year. But the latter-day legionnaires vow to reclaim their stamping ground.

“How dare they say that we disfigure the Colosseum'” raged Franco Magni, alias “Brutus”, wearing knee-high strappy sandals and gleaming body armour. “They’ve built lifts and souvenir shops inside the Colosseum to make money out of it but we’re being driven away, stopped from doing our work. It’s a disgrace.”

The band of about 40 bare-legged centurions and gladiators waved their swords, raised their fists and chanted “We want to work!” as bemused tourists took snapshots.

Canine blues

London (Reuters): The canine winner of the world’s biggest dog

show may be stripped of its title after being accused of having a secret facelift, the Times newspaper said. Danny, the Pekingese who beat 20,000 contestants to be crowned Supreme Champion at the renowned Crufts show earlier this month, faces an investigation into the allegations, the paper said.

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