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Former Pompeii Managers Under Investigation for Corruption – Site Gets €105 Million Makeover

February 7, 2013
The House of the Faun, Pompeii. Source: Wikipedia.

The House of the Faun, Pompeii. Source: Wikipedia.

The headline in articles by Agence France Presse and elsewhere trumpeted news that Pompeii, the world famous archeological site in southern Italy, will receive a much needed infusion of €105 million … Almost overshadowing mention that former site director Marcello Fiori, former restoration supervisor Luigi D’Amora, and a former contractor, Annamaria Caccavo, were under investigation for corruption.

According to the article:

One contract priced by Caccavo at 449,882 euros ended up costing the state 4.84 million euros, prosecutors said in court documents.

The works “were not essential” for preserving Pompeii and were geared towards holding stage performances in the ruins of the ancient city.

Pompeii, buried in 79 AD under volcanic ash from neighboring Mount Vesuvius, provides a remarkable snap shot of Roman life frozen in time.  In a nation littered with amazing historic sites, it is a standout. However, as AFP notes:

The hugely popular site near Naples has come to symbolise the decades of mismanagement of many of Italy’s cultural treasures, as well as the fallout from recent steep cuts in budgets for culture because of austerity measures.

The repairs are aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to the elements, reinforcing the ancient Roman buildings, restoring Pompeii’s famous frescoes and increasing video surveillance at the site where security has been lax.

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