Neglect of Pompeii is unfortunately nothing new. Successive Italian governments over decades have failed to maintain what has been excavated and there is still large swathes of the city that have never been properly documented and preserved. Nearby Herculaneum has in recent years revealed extraordinary finds and artefacts to surpass those of its better known neighbour. But it too requires investment to maintain this world heritage site.
Italy’s culture minister demanded explanations on Sunday after more collapses this weekend in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii raised concerns about the state of one of the world’s most treasured archaeological sites.
Pompeii, preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79AD and rediscovered in the 18th century, has been hit by a series of collapses in recent months and years which have sparked international outcry over the neglect of the site.
Officials said the wall of a tomb about 1.7 metres high and 3.5 metres long collapsed in the necropolis of Porta Nocera in the early hours of Sunday.
That followed a smaller collapse on Saturday of part of an arch supporting the Temple of Venus.
Heavy rains were cited as the immediate cause.
The Temple of Venus is in an area of the site which was already closed to visitors, while access to the necropolis has been…
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