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Palazzo delle Esposizioni reopened in Rome

Exhibits on artist Mark Rothko and director Stanley Kubrick are to be the first at Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizioni, or Palace of Exhibitions, when it reopens on Saturday after a five-year restoration.

The monumental building on downtown Via Nazionale has been closed since 2002, and the EUR28 million (US$39.5 million) restoration was halted for more than a year in 2004 after a ceiling collapsed, injuring seven workers.

The palazzo was built in the early 1880s by Italian architect Pio Piacentini, and Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni was scheduled to attend an official opening ceremony later Friday.

The inaugural exhibitions will include 70 works by Rothko, on loan from top museums and collections, and a display of photographs, backstage film and costumes from Kubrick's movies.