VISITORS to Chester are invited to watch an artist-in-residence create a mural on the back wall of the amphitheatre.
The Chronicle has had sight of an artist’s impression which specialist London-based artist Gary Drostle will use to create the painting over the course of six-eight weeks from mid July.
Chester Renaissance hope the 3-D mural will give the illusion of a complete circular structure, bringing the arena to life.
An options to include scenes of gladiatorial combat was considered but rejected as being ‘too busy’ with the potential to detract from events, such as concerts, at the venue.
Meanwhile, rapid progress is being made on the £300,000 amphitheatre project as a whole, which aims to improve the visitor experience to the ancient monument.
The space behind the mural wall has been opened up for use as a family picnic area. A new footbridge, with steps leading down to the main entrance, will allow tourists to enter the arena from the perspective of a gladiator 2,000 years ago.
The Romans used light-coloured sand on the arena floor to highlight spilled blood for the baying 7,000-strong crowd, which has been replicated with golden grit-stone and sand.
A replica of the original tethering stone, to which criminals were tied before being savaged by wild beasts, will be installed.
Meanwhile, local stone masons are busy creating low red sandstone walls on the footprint of the original walls. Rocks for the in-fill were recovered from the old Roman quarry in Delamere Street during construction at the Gorse Stacks site.
Work has been going on in tandem to rebuild the collapsed section of Roman wall by the Chester Grosvenor hotel.
Despite the inclement weather, the project is ahead of schedule and due for completion by early May in time for the start of the tourist season.
Archaeological investigations have revealed the remains of a Roman watch tower at the location.
And the majority of de-vegetation on the rest of the walls circuit, which has involved workers abseiling down the exterior, is now complete.