(Reuters) - Collapsing walls at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii have raised fresh concerns about Italy’s efforts to maintain one of the world’s most treasured sites, preserved for 2,000 years but now crumbling from neglect.
On Monday, site officials said part of a wall had collapsed on one of Pompeii’s major streets after weeks of heavy rains and wind. Plaster had also fallen off the wall of the ornately frescoed House of the Small Fountain.
A series of collapses in Pompeii over the last month led Italian media to dub it a “Black November” for the ancient city, preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. and rediscovered in the 18th century, revealing a time capsule of daily life in Roman times. Read more.
Her name was Amica (loved friend) and her name and footprint are embedded in a terra cotta tile along side her friend Detfri. The signed tile is a rare find, as Amica was a Roman slave and not only her name, but a tangible imprint of her life, in the form of her footprint survives to this day.
For the most part, the slaves of the well-preserved city of Pompeii still remain largely “invisible” in history, according to the University of Delaware’s Lauren Hackworth Petersen.
Petersen is exploring new approaches to bring the lives of Pompeii’s slaves out of the shadows by drawing on literature, law, art and other material evidence. The research is part of a forthcoming book she is co-authoring with Sandra Joshel, at the University of Washington. Read more.
Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into football star Ezequiel Lavezzi for attempting to take a stolen Pompeii statue to Paris during his multi-million pound transfer in May 2012.
Argentine striker Lavezzi was in the process of moving from Italian club Napoli to Paris St Germain when he was stopped at Naples’ Capodichino airport for a routine customs check, according to Italian daily Il Mattino.
Police were shocked to discover that one of the wrapped boxes contained a marble bust from the first century AD, allegedly from the Pompeii archaeological area.
Asked why he was unlawfully carrying with him a priceless work of art, Lavezzi said it was “a gift from a Neapolitan living in Posillipo [residential quarter of Naples]”. Read more.
With UNESCO urging the Italian government to speed up repairs in Pompeii, the country’s culture minister assured the United Nations organization that the country will not be abandoning the long-neglected Roman city and efforts are being made to restore it.
Giovanni Puglisi, head of the UNESCO National Commission in Italy, on Saturday warned the government that it “has until December 31 to adopt suitable measures for Pompeii,” before a progress assessment by the organisation next February.
In a January report, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization documented structural shortcomings and light damage at the 44-hectare (110-acre) site in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, where collapses have sparked international concern. Read more.
, Italy — Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Pompeii survived excavation starting in the 18th century and has stoically borne the wear and tear of millions of modern-day tourists.
But now, its deep-hued frescoes, brick walls and elegant tile mosaics appear to be at risk from an even greater threat: the bureaucracy of the Italian state.
In recent years, collapses at the site have alarmed conservationists, who warn that this ancient Roman city is dangerously exposed to the elements — and is poorly served by the red tape, the lack of strategic planning and the limited personnel of the site’s troubled management.
The site’s decline has captured the attention of the European Union, which began a $137 million effort in February that aims to balance preservation with accessibility to tourists. Read more.
It was one of the most destructive natural disasters in history, a volcanic eruption eradicating all traces of life in its wake.
But a major new exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum will show the lives of their people before the explosion in 79AD, and particularly how the Roman Empire’s citizens celebrated beauty and decoration in even the most routine of objects.
It will feature fresh discoveries and previously unseen treasures from the Roman cities destroyed by Mount Vesuvius, including recently unearthed jewels, art works and household items, as vivid the day they were last used.
Miraculously preserved by the volcanic ash that engulfed both cities in southern Italy, they provide an extraordinary glimpse into the daily lives of their owners. Read more.
POMPEII, Italy — Conservation workers at the long-neglected Roman city of Pompeii began a 105-million euro ($142-million) makeover partly funded by the EU on Wednesday, a day after former site managers were put under investigation for corruption.
The project, which is being funded to the tune of 41.8 million euros from the European Union and is to be completed by 2015, is seen as crucial for the survival of Pompeii after a series of collapses at the 44-hectare site in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
The giant erupting volcano devastated Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago in 79 AD but the ash and rock helped preserve many buildings almost in their original state, as well as forming eery shapes around the curled-up corpses of victims of the disaster. Read more.
The residents of the ancient city of Pompeii weren’t limited to street-level plumbing, a new study finds. In fact, many in the city may have headed upstairs when nature called.
Most second floors in the Roman city are gone, claimed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79. But vertical pipes leading to lost second stories strongly suggest that there were once toilets up there, according to a new analysis by A. Kate Trusler, a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Missouri.
"We have 23 toilets that are connected, that are second-story preserved, that are connected to these downpipes," Read more.