Pompeii suffers again

By | Category: Travel rumblings
© Dan Sperrin

© Dan Sperrin

How many natural disasters will it take for some reasonable care and maintenance is given to Pompeii?

I first went to Pompeii, forty years ago this June. I didn’t appreciate the way that the authorities looked after their heritage then as I found graffiti scrawled over much of the stones lying down. In the intervening years I haven’t changed my view much. Those that look after it or have an interest wherever they life in the world have been even more disheartened by what has happened to one of Italy’s  – and the world’s major heritage structures.

We have drawn attention to the lack of care and the calls by Italian and international people for better heritage management but it seems that another collapse has prompted the new Italian prime minister to get involved and “do something.”

We are not the only countries to have been deluged by rain over the last weeks. Last weekend a number of the structures were damaged and some walls collapsed. A volcanic eruption 2,000 years ago couldn’t complete the job but insistent rain can. Italy says it £1.6m in emergency funding is available to maintain and preserve what is left.

The BBC quotes the words of the Italian culture minister saying that we can be “sure that Italy is taking care of Pompeii, both in terms of emergency measures and in the long term”. Other ministers have said similar things in the past. Let’s hope this time he means it.

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