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Europe tells Italy to up Pompeii protection

Authorities under pressure after latest collapses

05 March, 15:30
Europe tells Italy to up Pompeii protection (ANSA) - Brussels, March 5 - The European Commission told Italy on Wednesday to increase efforts to prevent further damage to Pompeii. "Local, regional and national authorities must do more and work together to ensure that funds are used effectively and that Pompeii is saved for future generations," said Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.

The world's most famous open-air museum suffered three collapses due to heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday, fuelling fresh concern and calls fo action. On Tuesday, Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini allocated two million euros for maintenance. On the same day, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn urged Italian authorities to take better care of the remains of the Roman commercial centre destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The excavations are largely open to the elements and although experts argue that a measure of deterioration is 'physiological' it is agreed that more needs to be done to protect the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The European Commission has allocated 105 million euros for Pompeii restoration and conservation under the Great Pompeii Project, which got underway last year.

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