On April 22, 2009 it was announced by the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, that the Colosseum would be restored in preparation for Rome’s 2763rd “birthday”. All of this coincided with new legislation that “federalized” the Italy’s fiscal budget to make it easier for local governments to fund projects and to collect taxes more efficiently.
According to Adnkronos (22 April 2009, “Italy: Colosseum to be restored in 2010”), the Colosseum is the top tourist attraction in Lazio with the Castel Sant’Angelo, Villa d’Este (in Tivoli) and the Borghese Gallery.
The Colosseum was commissioned by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was inaugurated by his son, Titus, in 80 AD. This impressive monument has certainly stood the test of time but has suffered greatly with a lot of damage caused by the nature and environment but also by industrial pollution as well as through general pillaging — much of the marble (and bronze) used on the Colosseum has found its way into other monuments through Rome.
Wikipedia also has an excellent article on the history of the Colosseum.