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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK
McCartney rocks the Colosseum
Paul McCartney
McCartney performed for almost three hours

Paul McCartney performed in front of about 500,000 people outside Rome's Colosseum on Sunday, a day after he performed inside the Roman forum.

The ex-Beatle performed for almost three hours, singing 1960 classics Back in the USSR, Hey Jude and Yesterday, as well as material from his solo career.

On Saturday, McCartney performed in front of 400 fans inside the 2,000-year-old Colosseum at a benefit concert.

Fans had paid up to 1,295 euros (930) each for a ticket to the concert inside the Colosseum, which is rarely open for performances.

"We understand it's the first time there's been a band in the Colosseum since the Christians," McCartney joked with the audience.

Profits for Saturday's show went to Rome's archaeological offices and to Adopt-a-Minefield, the anti-landmines charity backed by the singer and his wife, Heather Mills.

Rome's Colosseum
The ex-Beatle had to urge fans to go home

A day later and some fans had started staking out places 12 hours before the concert started in an area flanking Rome's ancient forums.

"You have to go home," McCartney shouted as the crowd remained after midnight in the Fori Imperiali linking the central Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum.

Surrounded by a troupe of dancers who had opened the show, as well as his own musicians, McCartney concluded the show in Italian: "Grazie Roma, arrivederci Roma."

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