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Extension in EU funding for Pompeii 'not possible'

Italy has only spent 40 million euros of 105 allocated

06 March, 11:35
Extension in EU funding for Pompeii 'not possible' (ANSA) - Brussels, March 6 - The European Commission on Thursday said it was not possible to grant Italy an extension to this year's deadline for spending 105 million euros of EU money to shore up the troubled ancient Roman archaeological site of Pompeii.

Pompeii's newly appointed superintendent Massimo Osanna appealed for an extension on Wednesday, saying so far only 40 million euros of the money had been spent on the site that UNESCO has said risks crumbling apart. Heavy rain was blamed for a wall of a Roman-era shop collapsing in Pompeii on Monday, a day after two other precious parts of the ancient city - a wall at the Temple of Venus and another wall on a tomb in the famed necropolis of Porta Nocera - suffered serious damage from bad weather. These followed a long and worrying catalogue of bits of Pompeii falling off in recent years. "Extensions are not possible," said a spokesperson for European Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

"Instead of seeking exceptions (to the rules), the important thing is to concentrate and work.

"We'll prepare a check list to monitor the progress of work from close up and have a public assessment of the situation before the summer break".