Unesco recently threatened to remove the ancient site of Pompeii from elite World Heritage catalog, if the government of Italy does not do more to help preserve the Roman city, which was buried by a cloud of hot ash in 79ad. Massimo Bray Italian Culture Minister says he hopes that the warnings will lead to a renewed campaign of preservation and restoration of that – and other important sites in Italy. Pompeii as suffered from decades of mismanagement and cuts in funding. Italy, which is basically an open air museum, with its unparalleled cultural heritage has not formulated a cohesive plan to manage effectively these resources.
Those that have pushed for cuts in arts funding claim that “culture is not bread” meaning that the cuts are justified as not being essential to Italy’s wellbeing, while others insist that a proactive management of Italy’s cultural heritage would resolve all of Italy’s fiscal woes, indeed ending “La Crisi.”
“Shortly safety measures, including videos surveillance for 50% of the area, will be installed and 39 work areas will be opened by 2015, … These measures are all outlined as necessary and urgent by UNESCO” Bray said.
Five work sites were opened in Pompeii recently, but two have already been shuttered due to the contractors’ “lack of transparency.” The conference that unveiled the key points of “a mega-undertaking” called the Grande Progetto Pompei (The Great Pompeii Project,) proposed that work would “secure the site’s damaged areas and to ensure that this is done using capable, honest businesses, not organized crime”.
Italy was given until December 31st, 2013, to get it’s archeological act together.
The photo above shows Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background, from Wikipedia.
Previously on Art is Life: