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Newly restored ruins lure thousands to Pompeii

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A picture shows frescoes in the Criptoporticus Domus, one of six restored buildings. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP
10:18 CET+01:00
Newly restored ruins in the ancient city of Pompeii, including a merchant’s luxurious dwelling, have attracted thousands of visitors to the site over the past few days.

The six buildings were unveiled last Thursday after a restoration process that got underway in 2012.

Over 7,000 people visited the site on Sunday and over 6,000 on Monday.

“There were so many people, but there were no problems whatsoever, everything was civil and orderly,” Massimo Osanna, the site’s superintendent, told Ansa.

The restoration project, which was the result of a partnership between the European Commission and Italian authorities, cost some €3 million.

The six restored ruins include a fabrics business, a thermal baths area and a middle-class home.

Visitors walk inside the Criptoporticus Domus. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

"They offer an extraordinary glimpse into how life must have been in the Roman city in the years before the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 buried it with its ashes," Osanna added.

Over the past few years Pompeii, one of the world’s most famous historical sites, has been hit by a series of labour disputes, while some ruins have collapsed due to severe under-funding.

The culture sector in Italy has suffered from harsh budget cuts since the start of the financial crisis in 2007.

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But after the Temple of Venus and walls of a tomb collapsed amid heavy rain in March 2014, the government stepped forward and vowed to spend millions on saving the site.

Unesco also piled on the pressure in late 2013, warning that the site, located near Naples, would be scrapped from the prestigious world heritage list if Italy failed to impose Unesco-enforced measures to upgrade and maintain it.

A jubilant Matteo Renzi, Italy's prime minister, said last week: "We made news with the collapses, now we are making news with restoration."

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