Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018

Police conduct checks on Pompeii restoration projects


Naples, July 5 - Police, financial authorities, and
criminal experts began making checks Friday on work at the
world-famous Pompeii archaeological site to ensure contracts
were being fulfilled.
The checks, focused on the House of the Criptoportico and
of the Dioscuri, followed a protocol designed in recent months
by the culture minstry to weed out any mafia or criminal gang
activities involved in contracts for restoration work.
In March, the EU Commission approved an injection of 105
million euros in restoration funds for Pompeii's ailing
monuments, to be combined with an equivalent investment from
A parallel project of private investors and businesses to
develop areas surrounding the archeological site is also being
In April, plans were announced for the revamping and
preservation of the ancient site of Pompeii - the Roman city
that was buried under ash in 79 AD.
But authorities have been anxious to keep gangs from
infiltrating contracts to skim off the cash without performing
any work.
In a related matter, last week, UNESCO recently gave Italy
a deadline of December 31 to apply a series of upgrade measures
or face having Pompeii removed from the elite World Heritage
A clear plan implemented 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.
To date, five work sites have opened in Pompeii, but two
have been halted due to the contractors' ''lack of
transparency,'' Bray said recently.
Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum are some of Italy's most
popular tourist destinations.
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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