A 2,000-year old wall surrounding an ancient villa at Pompeii has collapsed – just two weeks after the Italian government launched a 105 million euro project (£86 million) to save the precious archaeological site.
The Special Archaeological Superintendent for Naples and Pompeii confirmed the collapse of the red-frescoed wall next to an unidentified villa in an area already closed to the public.
The collapse of the wall is particularly embarrassing for the government as it follows several other incidents at the world heritage site in the past two year .
There is growing concern Italy's ability to protect it from further degradation and the impact of the local Mafia or Camorra.
Giulia Rodano, cultural affairs spokesman for the centre-left Italy of Values party, said there was a need to restore state funding that had been eroded by government cutbacks.