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Third collapse in Pompeii, gov't looks to foundation for preserving the site

12-02-2010 09:54 BJT

ROME, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The archaeological site of Pompeii is literally crumbling to pieces as two other ancient walls collapsed on Wednesday forcing the government to take urgent decisions.

It's the third similar case since November: first the famous Gladiators'Room, then on Tuesday the garden wall in the House of the Moralist and now these other two walls that have fallen to the ground due to water infiltration, humidity and a long-lasting neglect.

The mayor of Pompeii Claudio D'Alessio assured that the two fallen walls were not frescoed. One of these was inside the so- called "Small Brothel", usually closed to the public.

However, despite repeatedly warning against the risk of " excessive alarmism", in an interview to daily Corriere della Sera Italian Cultural Minister Sandro Bondi acknowledged the need to take urgent measures to avoid other tragedies.

The minister announced that on Thursday an extraordinary summit will be held by the ministry, Pompeii archaeological representatives and local authorities aimed at the creation of a special foundation which will preserve and valorize the site, constantly monitoring its state.

The foundation will be jointly run by public and private bodies, Bondi explained, as for other important monuments in Italy such as Turin's Egyptian Museum.

The opposition parties fear that the foundation may pave the way towards the gradual privatization of Pompeii, one of the most visited historical sites in Europe, but the government has realized that the situation is serious and that probably private sponsors are needed in the daily maintenance of the area.

On Tuesday Pompeii's archaeological sites commissioner Jeannet Papadopulos warned that the area faced a concrete, daily threat because of its fragility and that more damage could come especially from the heavy rains.

A mapping of the site has been launched and the military police have seized documents of the archaeological local office to determine whether Pompeii was correctly preserved in recent years.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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