Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
NAPLES

Govt vows plan to keep Pompeii's UNESCO status

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle)
Naples, July 1 - UNESCO has given Italy until
December 31 to apply a series of upgrade measures or face having
one of its most famous archeological sites removed from the
elite World Heritage catalogue.
A clear plan operated with maximum transparency is needed
to keep the world-famous tourist destination of Pompeii on
UNESCO's list, Italian Minister of Culture Massimo Bray said on
Monday.
"Shortly safety measures, including videos surveillance
for 50% of the area, will be installed and 39 work areas will be
opened by 2015," Bray said.
"These measures are all outlined as necessary and urgent
by UNESCO," Bray added.
To date, five work sites have opened in Pompeii, but two
have been halted due to the contractors' "lack of transparency,"
Bray said.
Plans for the revamping and preservation of the ancient
archeological site of Pompeii were announced in April.
The conference that unveiled the key points of a
mega-undertaking called the Grande Progetto Pompei or Great
Pompeii Project, said that work would "secure the site's damaged
areas and to ensure that this is done using capable, honest
businesses, not organized crime".
In March, the EU Commission approved an injection of 105
million euros in restoration funds for Pompeii's ailing
monuments, to be combined with matching money from Italy.
A parallel project of private investors and businesses to
develop areas surrounding the archeological site is also
planned.
"In Pompeii, as with the Colosseum and other historical
sites, funds and staff are needed," Bray said in an interview
with Il Corriere della Sera daily paper on Monday.
Staff is also needed to effectively monitor the site and
avoid damage by visitors.
"The last round of hirings in 2008 foresaw 400 new
employees," Bray said.
Some 139,000 people, of which 80% were college graduates,
applied, the minister said.
Campania region tourism director, Pasquale Sommese, said
on Monday that he hoped the responsibility for restoring and
preserving the ancient Roman city that was buried under ash in
79 AD did not fall exclusively on the local government.
"The Campania region has invested more than 150 million
euros in Pompeii and now the ministry of culture has to do
its part," Sommese said.
"Please note that these sites are run directly by the
ministry, but there is a lot of uncertainty in the
responsibility".
Sommese added that he hoped a situation similar to Naples'
rubbish problem, which has brought criticism from the
European Court of Justice and put the region at risk for fines
due to a series of trash crises over the years, did not occur.
"I would like to avoid the situation where everyone and no
one is responsible," Sommese said.
He especially warned of union meetings that kept visitors
waiting outside the site's gates last week.
"It is a shame that 600 tourists had to find the gates
closed, no matter how noble the unions' efforts are," Sommese
said.
Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum are some of Italy's most
popular tourist destinations in Italy.
Currently, an exhibit at London's famed British Museum,
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum, has already recorded
287,000 visitors - well beyond the number expected for its
six-month run.
Tens of thousands more are expected to visit the
exhibition, which is on course to become the third-most popular
in the museum's history, which first opened its door in 1753.

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