Sunday, September 09, 2012

Falling beam at Pompeii provokes outrage

The Villa of the Mysteries, once an elegant suburban villa, is one of the most popular attractions at Pompeii, the Roman city destroyed when nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.

The first plan of the villa dates back to the second century BC and it takes its name from the richly decorated red and gold frescoes featuring statuesque women in one room of the residence.

There have been more than 15 falls in Pompeii in the past four years.

In November 2010 there was a collapse in the House of the Gladiators which drew criticism from Unesco and the European Union.

It was followed by a collapse at the famed House of the Moralist and another three minor collapses, including one at the House of Diomedes and a wall near the Nola Gate.

In February this year a yard-long piece of plaster fell off the ancient Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii and another fall inside the House of Venus in the Shell.

“Maintenance is non existent and tourists are at risk of injury,” said Senator Diana De Feo from the People of Freedom Party.

According to the latest figures, more than 1.6 million people visited the site between January and August – 45,000 fewer visitors than the same period in 2011.

In April this year Prime Minister Mario Monti announced an ambitious plan to save Pompeii after the EU Commission approved restoration funds for its ailing monuments with the funds to be matched from Italy.

The total sum of 105 million euros of European Union funds have been earmarked to preserve, maintain and improve the site under the Great Pompeii Project.

Via Falling beam at Pompeii provokes outrage - Telegraph