Wednesday, December 4, 2013


YET another wall has collapsed at Pompeii amid a rising cry of outrage over Italy's botched efforts to prevent the Roman city from crumbling to bits.

After weeks of heavy wind and rain which caused water to gush down the ancient streets (photo above), part of a wall collapsed on one of Pompeii's major streets early this week, site officials said.

Plaster has also fallen from the wall of the ornately frescoed House of the Small Fountain.

A €105 million ($145 million) project to save the buildings which were frozen in time after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD was launched in February.

But restoration work has also only partially begun because bids by companies for contracts are still being assessed.

A series of collapses in Pompeii over the last month led Italian media to dub it a "Black November" for the ancient city.

The declaration of a state of emergency five years ago failed to halt the deterioration amid allegations that funds were being siphoned off by the mafia, and reports of mismanagement and looting.

The collapse of the frescoed House of the Gladiators caused international outcry in 2010.

Italy's National Association of Archaeologists expressed 'regret and anger 'at the latest collapse and criticised the government for failing to appoint someone to lead the restoration.

"This is an incomprehensible delay. If culture is to be a priority in Italy we must start with Pompeii, now decimated by continuous collapses caused mainly by a lack of routine maintenance," the group said in a statement.

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