Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pompeii collapses 'exaggerated' by media, site chief says

Paestum, November 16 - Recent collapses at the ancient city of Pompeii had been exaggerated by the media and efforts to protect the site are progressing, according to the Special Archaeological Superintendent for Naples and Pompeii, Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro.

Cinquantaquattro was speaking along with other senior archaeological officials from the culture ministry at the 15th annual Mediterranean Archaeological Tourism Exchange in Paestum on how to conserve sites in southern Italy in a climate of shrinking government funds. "Problems exist at Pompeii but they have been exaggerated by negative journalists," Cinquantaquattro told ANSA.

After recent falls of structures in the past two years there has been growing concern about Italy's ability to protect the 2,000-year-old site from further degradation and the impact of the local mafia, the Camorra. In April this year a wall surrounding an ancient villa at Pompeii collapsed just two weeks after the Italian government launched a joint 105-million-euro project with the European Union to save the UNESCO World Heritage site.

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