the arenas of Cimiez soon transformed into “a permanent theater”

This rehabilitation means the abandonment of the project for a future performance hall in the “Iconic” building still under construction, very close to the Nice-Ville station.

Le Figaro Nice

While the deconstruction of the National Theater of Nice (TNN) has been scheduled for next month, Christian Estrosi announced this Monday morning that the TNN would set down its suitcases from May 2023 in the heart of the amphitheater of the Roman arenas of Cimiez, to the north of the city.

“The amphitheater must become a stage in its own right, geared towards live performance and which we will entrust to the TNN to produce, in particular, an international festival dedicated to ancient tragedy, on the model of that of Syracuse”explained the city councilor during a press conference given on site, in the heart of the arena. “From next May you will be here in a permanent theater hall. And which will be able to accommodate 600 to 700 spectators.he pointed out.

“Christian Estrosi offers us the most beautiful places to animate! And beauty makes everyone agree. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful instrument and extraordinarily complementary with the two stages we already have, so I’m very happy with it.“, for her part, welcomed Muriel Mayette-Holtz, the director of the TNN. The first ancient theater festival could be inaugurated in June or July 2024, she said. In the meantime, performances will take place starting next spring.

For the mayor of Nice, it is also a question of restoring its letters of nobility to a site steeped in history, the cradle of the civilization of Nice. The project is also in line with the candidacy that the City is about to submit for the label of European Capital of Culture 2028. “It seems to me that the time has come to launch the great project of rebirth of the entire Cimiez site, which I have carried in my heart for so many years”, did he declare. The city councilor undertakes, however, that the amphitheater, whose construction dates from the 2nd century and which was classified as a historic monument in 1965, retains its original structure and appearance.

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Abandonment of the “Iconic” performance hall project

Very soon, it will no longer be possible to visit the site freely, as was the case until now. And for good reason, sound and light equipment will soon be installed and the stands raised to resume the initial shape of the amphitheater. Christian Estrosi also wants to put an end to the degradation of the premises, which, according to him, is continuous: “We have to stop everything, that is to say free access to the amphitheater, where each passage of a walker degrades the structure, but also the disorderly use that is made of the place, on the occasion of shows, concerts, parties or other events. This is triply problematic for everyone’s safety, for the quality of the events and for the conservation of the building.

This new TNN theater hall will be added to the two halls of the Franciscans and the “Kitchen”, which together have nearly 900 seats. On the other hand, this rehabilitation means abandoning the future theater project in the “Iconic” building still under construction, very close to the Nice-Ville train station. “After studies, it turns out that the project cannot technically meet our expectations. Especially with regard to the height of the ceilings”justified the mayor.

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