Italy: Crumbling Pompeii risks United Nations downgrade
Rome, 20 Jan. (AKI) - Pompeii risks being losing a prestigious status in favour of being branded "at risk" if Italy doesn't cut through some of its bureaucratic red tape and immediately start work to restore the crumbling 2,000 year old site, according to Giovanni Puglisi, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization official.
"The funds are there. The work sites have to open. Enough of playing around with bureaucracy," said Giovanni Puglisi, president of the Italian national commission for UNESCO, in an interview with Adnkronos. "Otherwise, there is the possibility that UNESCO will withdraw it from the "Patrimony of Humanity" list and assign it "at risk" status.Read the full article here.
Pompeii, the world's largest archeological site, has suffered a number of high-profile collapses as heavy rain causes walls from the ancient structures to crumble.
A 2010 collapse of a portion of the House of the Gladiators last November led to Sandro Bondi's resignation as culture minister. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government was accused by critics of starving culture of needed funds as the country implemented austerity measures to save tens-of-billions of euros to put its financial house in order.