Friday, February 10, 2017


WORKERS at the protected Roman city of Pompeii have been accused of destroying part of an ancient house amid an ugly dispute with management.

Italian police have launched an investigation into claims that staff tore down part of a stone wall at the House of Citharist.

The collapsed section was discovered a day after guards at the famous tourist attraction called a meeting to discuss problems in the workplace.

But management intervened because it would have taken place during working hours and shut down the Unesco World Heritage Site which is visited by around three million people a year.

Massimo Osanna, archaeological superintendent of the site near Naples, blocked the shutdown by bringing in extra members of staff.

The wall crumbled out of the view of surveillance cameras and no witnesses have come forward claiming to have seen someone willfully damaging the heritage site, Italian media reported.

Still, Mr Osanna has pointed the finger at disgruntled workers and defended his decision to bring in more staff to keep the site open.

"This is not the first time they have done this," he told Italian media in a quote translated by The Times of London.

"It’s blackmail by the unions, because closing the site creates embarrassment for us around the world and undermines the work we are doing here. But I am not taking orders. I am in charge here."

Union leader Antonio Pepe denied the claims, saying: "We love this place. We respect it."

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