Italy acts to stop Pompeii collapse after flooding
Italy will unblock 2 million euros ($2.7 million) in emergency funding to save the ancient city of Pompeii, after flooding caused walls to collapse.
A number of structures, including the Temple of Venus and Roma, were damaged by heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday.
The decay prompted calls for action from the EU and the UN.
The site, where volcanic ash smothered a Roman city in AD79, has suffered slow degradation for many years.
Pompeii is one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures.
Every year, some 2.5 million tourists visit Pompeii, which sits near the southern city of Naples.
Despite the money they generate, there have been allegations that the city – designated a World Heritage site by the UN cultural organization UNESCO – has been neglected and underfunded.
The new plan was adopted at an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said he was “unblocking many measures which will get the machine working”.
He added the EU could be “sure that Italy is taking care of Pompeii, both in terms of emergency measures and in the long term”.
The money will be used for routine maintenance. In addition the government will take steps to protect vulnerable areas of the landmark site.
Pompeii’s degradation has been a source of constant concern and embarrassment for the Italian authorities.
The EU has made substantial funds available for the care and restoration of the site, but the money does not appear to have been put to use swiftly.