RAY OF LIGHT

The legend promotes global harmony at the famous Rome landmark...

THE COLOSSEUM in ROME hosts its first ever music concert in its 2,000-year history next week when RAY CHARLES plays for peace.

The soul legend will appear on May 11 and will be joined by artists from Algeria, Argentina, Bosnia, Serbia, Israel and Palestine. The concert is designed to promote global harmony, but will be dedicated in particular to the conflict on the Middle East. There will also be a special tribute to victims of the September 11 attacks.

The Colosseum now can only hold up to 400 spectators, considerably less than the 50,000 who packed in during Roman times to watch the gladiators battle.

“There are few places in the world that are as well-known as The Colosseum, which in the past has hosted terrible crimes and atrocities,” organiser Uri Savir told the BBC. “Now, it will become an universal symbol of peace.”

The concert kicks off a three day international conference to launch Glocalism – a new initiative aimed at fighting inequalities and conflicts through a network of local communities.