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Archeology: EU, Italy to spend 105 mln to save Pompeii

last update: March 30, 15:03

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Naples, 30 March (AKI) - The European Union has given the green light to a plan to join forces with Italy to jointly spend 105 million euros to keep Pompeii from crumbling.

"We gave our approval to this important restoration work that is not only in the interest of Italy, but for all of Europe's historic patrimony," said European Union Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, on Thursday.

Hahn's commission and Italy from 2000 to 2006 together spent 7.7 million euros on 22 restoration projects at Pompeii.

Highly-publicised collapses of ancient buildings at the UNESCO World Heritage site has prompted an outcry that Italy is neglecting the world's largest archeological site.

The 2010 crumbling of a portion of the House of the Gladiators led to the resignation of Italy's culture minister. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government was accused by critics of starving culture of needed funds as the country implemented austerity measures to save tens-of-billions of euros to put its financial house in order.

More recently, in October a chunk of the wall from Domus of Diomede building on Via Consolare collapsed on the day the EU said it was considering the 105 million-euros investment plan.

Pompeii, near Naples, was buried by volcanic ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

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