Unesco praises Italy for efforts to save Pompeii

Unesco praises Italy for efforts to save Pompeii
Unesco has praised Italy for its efforts to save Pompeii. Photo: Pompeii photo: Shutterstock
Two years after Unesco gave Italy a stern rebuke over its upkeep of the Roman city of Pompeii, the UN cultural agency has praised the country for the strides made in maintaining the site.

In January 2013, Unesco documented structural shortcomings and light damage at the 44-hectare site in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, where collapsing walls and houses sparked international concern.

It also threatened it scrap Pompeii from its prestigious World Heritage list if measures were not taken to save the site.

But in its latest inspection report, the agency said that Italy has “carried out substantial works” as part of the so-called Great Pompeii project and has “adopted the recommendations” laid out by the World Heritage Committee, Il Mattino reported.

The agency also praised the site’s management and recommended the timeframe for the completion of works be extended until the end of 2016.

The giant eruption of Mount Vesuvius devastated Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago in 79 AD although the ash and rock helped preserve many buildings almost in their original state, as well as the curled-up corpses of victims.

But the hugely popular site near Naples came to symbolize decades of mismanagement of many of Italy's cultural treasures, as well as the fallout from austerity cuts during the financial crisis.

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