Ancient wall in Pompeii falls despite €105m plan
A 2,000-year-old wall surrounding an ancient villa at Pompeii has collapsed, just two weeks after the Italian government launched a €105m project to save the precious archaeological site.
The special archaeological superintendent for Naples and Pompeii confirmed the collapse of the red-frescoed wall in an area already closed to the public.
The collapse was particularly embarrassing for the government because it followed several similar incidents at the world heritage site in the past two years.
There is growing concern about Italy's ability to protect Pompeii from further deterioration, amid claims that restoration funds have been diverted to the local Mafia, or Camorra.
The latest initiative is funded by Italy and the EU.
At the launch, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said the project was designed to secure the buildings at risk.
"We want to ensure that this is accomplished through honest and capable workers and companies while keeping away the organised crime that is still strong in this area," he added. (©Daily Telegraph, London)