Unesco to help Italy preserve Pompeii

December 1st, 2011 - 12:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Dec 1 (IANS/AKI) The Unesco will advise Italy on how to best protect one of the world’s biggest archaeological sites, Pompeii, where a massive volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. buried the ancient city under six metres of volcanic ash.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation agreed to guide the Italian government by giving advice on improving conservation methods for the 76-hectare site, where rain and poor upkeep has caused several buildings to collapse.

A major incident occurred in November 2010, when portions of the Schola Armaturarum — or Gladiators’ House — and the House of the Moralist collapsed, embarassing Italy where funding for culture was slashed.

The condition of the site near Naples cost the Italian culture minister his job.

The European Union in October said it would provide up to 105 million euros to protect and restore Pompeii. The following day, the collapse of a chunk of another building was reported by a labour union working at the site.

Unesco assistant director-general for culture Francesco Bandarin said: “This agreement is the result of a long-standing cooperation between Unesco and Italy in support of the conservation of world heritage.”

He referred to the project of safeguarding Pompeii as a “complex endeavour”.

–IANS/AKI
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