Mercoledì, 16 Ottobre 2019
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NAPLES

Artemis fresco stolen from Pompeii

English
© ANSA

Naples, March 18 - A portion of a fresco of Apollo
and Artemis has been stolen from the world-famous archeological
site of Pompeii, Italian dailies reported Tuesday.
Citing an employee at the world's largest open-air museum,
newspapers Il Mattino and Il Messaggero said the fresco portion,
measuring roughly 20x20 cm, has been missing from the House of
Neptune for one week.
The missing portion depicted the goddess Artemis, who was
seated before her brother Apollo. It was stolen by experts,
police say.
The area is a part of Pompeii currently receiving funds
under the ambitious Great Pompeii Project, which includes 105
million euros allocated by the European Commission for
restoration and conservation.
In addition to thefts, collapses in recent weeks have drawn
renewed calls to increase protection at the ancient site, with
UNESCO warning it could fall down completely without
"extraordinary measures".
Italy's newly appointed superintendent for Pompeii and the
related sites of Herculaneum and Stabiae, all buried by Vesuvius
in 79 AD, has asked for an extension to this year's deadline for
spending the EC's 105 million euros to shore up the city
miraculously preserved by ash.
UNESCO in July gave Italy until December 31 to apply a
series of upgrade measures or face having Pompeii removed from
its prestigious list of World Heritage sites.
The measures included video surveillance of 50% of the area
and a buffer zone around the site.
Rome implemented most of the measures and got an extended
deadline for the others.
Heavy rain was blamed for a wall of a Roman-era shop
collapsing in Pompeii at the start of the month, a day after two
other precious parts of the ancient city - a wall at the Temple
of Venus and another wall on a tomb in the famed necropolis of
Porta Nocera - suffered serious damage from bad weather.
These followed a long and worrying catalogue of bits of
Pompeii falling off.
In November 2010 the House of the Gladiators came down,
prompting Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to say: "This is
a disgrace for the whole of Italy".
In February 2012 a piece of plaster came off the the Temple
of Jupiter, one of Pompeii's main attractions.
Then, in September 2012, at the Villa of the Mysteries, an
even more iconic building, a five-metre-long flying buttress
gave in and went crashing to the ground.
Last November, finally, a wall in one of the ancient city's
main thoroughfares, Via dell'Abbondanza, keeled over while
another piece of decorative plaster, at the House of the Little
Fountain, dropped from the ceiling.
Pompeii has been plagued for decades by accusations of
mismanagement, neglect and even infiltration by the local
Camorra mafia.

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