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How the EU is protecting Pompeii for future generations

New funds allocated to increase the capacity of the famous archaeological site for tourism

How the EU is protecting Pompeii for future generations

Claudia Astarita

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Pompeii is one of Europe's best-known archaeological sites, and the EU has decided to allocate to this beautiful spot new funds to both ensure it is well protected and to increase its capacity for tourism.

Not many people are aware that the UNESCO site of Pompeii has been under excavation to varying degrees since 1748. However, and unfortunately, exposure of the excavated site as well as poor excavation techniques mean that the site has deteriorated over time. For this reason, the EU has decided to allocate new funds to support a project aiming to stop and reverse the deterioration of the site while consolidating disparate sites into a single excavated area thereby extending the useable area by 23.000 square meters. On top of that, the project, which comes under the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013, is expected to attract an average of 200.000 extra visitors per year.

Several interventions will be implemented to contribute to the preservation of the Pompeii site. Firstly, a water canalisation system for drainage is planned for the non-excavated area overlooking the ancient buildings. Also, the structures and urban profile of the site will be consolidated starting with the most high-risk areas. Restoration and enhancement works will be carried out in accordance with innovative preservation methods. In addition, the SANP (the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Caserta) will be supported in upgrading their technical skills and qualifications.

It is not the first time that the EU decides to support this precious archaeological site. Indeed, the Union has been supporting Pompeii since the 2000-2006 period. In 2012, the project was allocated 105 million Euro, of which around 40 million have been used in a first phase. The project is expected to be completed in December 2018, when Pompeii will confirm itself os one of the perfect success stories within the Union.

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