Italian Government to Help Pompeii Restoration

Italy says it will provide €2 million in emergency funding to save the ancient city of Pompeii, after serious flooding has caused ancient archaeological structures to collapse.

A number of structures, including the Temple of Venus and Roma, were damaged last weekend by heavy rainfall. The site, where volcanic ash covered a Roman city in AD79, has been neglected for many years, degrading over a long period of time.

Nearly 2.5 million tourists visit Pompeii ever year; these temples are among the world's greatest ancient treasures. The decay of this area has prompted a call for action from the EU and UN, after the UN cultural organisation Unesco feels the site has been neglected and underfunded.

As a result, a new plan was adopted at an emergency meeting last week, where the Italian Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini said he was "unblocking many measures which will get the machine working." He reassured that the EU could be "sure that Italy is taking care of Pompeii, both in terms of emergency measures and in the long term."

The money will be used for routine maintenance and to protect the most vulnerable areas of the landmark site. However, the money for its care and restoration does not appear to have been put to use swiftly. The Italian media puts this down to the Government's slow action on mismanagement and bureaucratic delays.

"Pompeii is emblematic not only for Europe, but also for the world," stated the EU's Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn.