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Hydrogeological instability responsible for Pompeii collapse

Earth 'made heavy' by rain says superintendent

03 March, 18:40
Hydrogeological instability responsible for Pompeii collapse (see previous) (ANSA) - Naples, March 3 - The Superintendency of archaeology in Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae said Monday that a two-metre-high wall which was part of a Roman-era shop crumbled on Monday under the pressure of a ""great bulk of earth"" rendered heavy by recent rainstorms.

In the statement, also following collapses on Sunday of a wall at the Temple of Venus, as well as a separate wall on a tomb in the necropolis of Porta Nocera, the Superintendency highlighted that areas not excavated and located right next to ancient walls are at high risk of crumbling over hydrogeological instability.

Water has never been adequately drained from the archaeological site, the authority said, stressing that urgent renovation work is part of an ambitious project to restore and redevelop the ancient Roman ruins known as the Great Project of Pompeii.

The project provides, among other things, for an injection of 105 million euros in European Union funds for the restoration of Pompeii"s ailing monuments The UNESCO world heritage site has been plagued by poor maintenance and a lack of funds for years.

Newly appointed Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

""Tomorrow I have a meeting to confront the emergency which unfortunately is longstanding"", he said Monday.

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