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Monday, July 15, 2013
Construction Magnate Donates Millions To Restore Pompeii As UNESCO Criticises Italian Government
Italian construction magnate Pietro Salini wants to donate €20 million to restore Pompeii.
Reuters news agency reports that Salini wants to donate funds to restore the archaeological site that has been damaged by weather, and has suffered from corrupt management and mafia interference. Salini aims to attract other international donors to restore the Ancient Roman city, telling a press conference: “It would be a crime to let Pompeii crumble.”
Salini’s announcement comes at a time when the head of the UNESCO National Commission in Italy, Giovanni Puglisi, warned the Italian government that it needs to accelerate ongoing restoration work at the archaeological site, saying the government “has until 31 December to adopt suitable measures for Pompeii”. In January 2013, UNESCO documented structural problems and damage Pompeii. UNESCO is due to make a progress assessment in February 2014.
Puglisi cited “irregular buildings not included in the previous plan and a lack of personnel” at the site. He called for “a new observance zone” around the site to protect it from illegal construction infringing the area.