Italy reveals Pompeii restorations, amidst EU deadline

The restored Villa of Mysteries displays some of the best-preserved frescoes of the site

The restored Villa of Mysteries displays some of the best-preserved frescoes of the site

Despite the risk of losing most of its funding due to high levels of mismanagement and neglect, Italy proudly revealed its restored crown jewel of the ancient city of Pompeii on Friday March 20th. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini cut the ribbon to open the restored Villa of Mysteries, which displays some of the best-preserved frescoes of the site. Franceschini still claims there are still many problems to resolve at Pompeii, all the while Italy was on schedule to meet a European Union deadline concerning funds for the site’s restoration.

The EU offered to spend 105 million euros ($111 million dollars) to fund the maintenance. In 2010, collapse of the Villa of Gladiators and other collapses in Pompeii due to heavy rains created such international alarm that the EU decided to step in and give immediate funds for restoration projects and an administration that would prohibit mafia infiltration. Since the agreement, there have been many completed restoration projects throughout Pompeii, 65 million euros awarded in contracts, 85 experts have been hired to work on the site and visitor numbers increased by approximately 200,000 more since 2013.

At the same time that the EU has given these funds to Italy and the restoration of Pompeii to use by December 31st of 2014, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has threatened to remove Pompeii from the World Heritage list. Fortunately, the progress made in the restoration projects have proven to provide great evidence of progress, and Pompeii still has its World Heritage List status.

According to Franceschini, Italy was in talks with private firms to fund restorations projects for Pompeii, which proves that private donors are increasingly playing an important role in caring for Italy’s most iconic treasures. This has earned Italy more than 50 UNESCO World Heritage listings—more than any other country in the world.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

A summer out of the ordinary by Italy's favorite seaside spots

Summer is on its way, or so we all hope here in Italy. The weather remains unstable, albeit temperatures are pleasant and I happily enjoyed my first...

Nola’s towering festival of lilies

For a little town just off the A16 autostrada, east of Naples, Nola has some big claims to fame. Spartacus once conquered it, Hadrian tried and the...

Naso: the roots of Lady Gaga

Born Joanne Stefani Germanotta, Lady Gaga was raised in Manhattan, but her melodramatic excess and sense of the theatrical baroque might spring from...

Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily! But don’t forget about Emilia Romagna

Italy is all beautiful, but it’s undeniable that outside national borders some regions are more popular than others: topping the world’s preferences...

Sardinia’s Carloforte: meeting with remarkable men

There is a remote island of resilient men in southwestern Sardinia. It is called San Pietro and legend has it that St. Peter visited in 46 AD. The...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues