Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
CASERTA

Drug pushers arrested outside Reggia di Caserta

English
© ANSA

Caserta, June 3 - Italian police on Friday rounded
up a gang of drug pushers operating outside a famed former
Bourbon palace north of Naples whose rundown state has grabbed
headlines recently.
More than 20 people including four pregnant women are
suspected of selling drugs to teenagers in a garden opposite the
entrance to the UNESCO-listed Reggia di Caserta, the largest
palace built in Europe in the 18th century.
The Reggia, built to rival Louis XIV's Paris chateau of
Versailles by the dynasty that ruled Naples, has seen structural
collapses in the last six months and its grand waterworks have
run dry because of local farmers punching holes in pipes for
their crops.
Last October Caserta's arts superintendent appealed to the
Italian government to save the treasured building after bits
fell off it.
"It's a serious situation," said Paola Raffaella David. "In
the last 10 days two parts of the facade have collapsed due to
deteriorating iron clamps that anchor the marble structures".
A family was nearly struck by a piece of the building's
cornice that fell to the ground in late October.
Ten days earlier a piece of a facade's tympanum fell into a
square.
David said the culture ministry has promised to
"immediately" secure all structures around entrances to the
Reggia in order to protect the thousands of daily visitors.
The Reggia has been a World Heritage Site since 1997.
The massive palace was dreamed up by Bourbon King Charles
III, who hoped it would one day be as famous as the French
kings' opulent residence outside Paris.
Designed as the new capital of the Bourbon Kingdom, it was
lost to the Napoleonic invasion for several years but returned
to the Bourbon House in 1815.
In 1860, it became the property of the royal family of the
new Italian state, the Savoys, before finally ending up in State
hands in 1919.
The palace complex, which has won awards for its beautiful
gardens, was based on designs by papal architect Luigi
Vanvitelli and took nearly 100 years to complete.
The courtyards, vestibules, park and Palatine Chapel of the
landmark have featured in several Hollywood movies.
The building's interior appeared in George Lucas's second
Star Wars trilogy, where it was the home of the young Queen
Amidala.
It has also doubled as the Vatican in two more recent
blockbusters, Mission: Impossible III and Ron Howard's
adaptation of the Dan Brown prequel to the Da Vinci Code, Angels
& Demons.

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