Italy to receive 105 million euro from EU to safeguard Pompeii
Oct 26, 2011, 15:22 GMT
Rome - Italy is to receive 105 million euros (145 million dollars) from the European Union to help safeguard the ancient city of Pompeii, Italian Culture Minister Giancarlo Galan said Wednesday.
'Now it's a question of spending it well ... to impress the EU and to do something important,' Galan was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.
The minister was due to visit Pompeii with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, but their trip to the 2000-year-old site was cancelled due to bad weather and rescheduled for November 7.
'The European Commission will keep constant control over the (Italian) plan (to protect) Pompeii,' Hahn said, adding that the project would last around four years.
However, he said that additional EU funds would be needed to safeguard the site in the long term.
'For now, the plan is to deal with the emergency (situation),' Hahn added.
Last week a portion of wall, situated near Pompeii's Porta di Nola entrance, collapsed due to damage by heavy rainfall.
Late last year, several walls and buildings collapsed at the site. One of these was a frescoed house where gladiators once prepared for combat, the Schola Armaturarum.
Concern has been mounting internationally that not enough is being done to protect Italy's historical sites, as the heavily indebted country struggles to cope with recession and the effects of the global economic crisis.
Once a prosperous Roman city, Pompeii was destroyed in 79 AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed thousands of people and buried the city in six metres of volcanic ash.
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