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Colosseum to go green for Paddy's Day

IT WAS the scene of gruesome gladiator battles in ancient times and now Rome's Colosseum is the latest world landmark to go green for St Patrick's Day.

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the heart of Paris will also light up in the colours of the Irish for the first time, as will the Ada Bridge in Belgrade, Serbia and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

The worldwide event of 'Global Greenings' has been organised by Ireland's embassies in co-operation with Tourism Ireland.

The Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, the London Eye, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Abu Dabi will all once again take part.

This year Chicago say they will be 'going all out' with numerous buildings and sites across the city seeing green, including Navy Pier, the John Hancock Center, the United Center, the Wrigley Building and the famous Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said that the success of initiative, now in its sixth year, is thanks to "the great work carried out across the world by Irish people.

"The addition of the Colosseum in Rome, one of the most famous monuments in the world, is a major coup for Irish tourism," he said.

Tourism minister Paschal Donohoe hailed the success of the initiative in previous years in generating media coverage of Ireland abroad.

"It serves to remind people worldwide of Ireland at a time when many are planning their overseas holidays," he said.