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16/4/2012

A 105 million Euro plan to save Pompeii is unveiled

Prime Minister Mario Monti and the relevant ministers presented a major plan to restore the archaeological park, starting with five conservation-restoration projects funded by the European Community, with others on the way. A special protocol will ensure that all interventions comply with existing laws and safety regulations

Detail of the House of Castor and Pollux, Archaeological Area, Pompeii
Detail of the House of Castor and Pollux, Archaeological Area, Pompeii

Grande Progetto Pompei, a major plan to restore the archaeological area, was presented yesterday at the Prefecture in Naples. Reliability, legality, and transparency are the project’s three keywords, through a special protocol for legality underwritten between the Naples Prefecture and the Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii promoted through an inter-institutional agreement between the Ministry of the Interior; the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities; the Ministry for Territorial Cohesion; the Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research; and the Authority for the Supervision of Public Contracts. The presentation conference saw the participation of Prime Minister Mario Monti and Ministers Annamaria Cancellieri, Lorenzo Ornaghi, Fabrizio Barca, and Francesco Profumo; the President of the Campania Regional Government, Stefano Caldoro; the President of the Province of Naples, Luigi Cesaro; and the Mayor of Pompei, Claudio D’Alessio.
 
«Pompeii is part of the heritage of humanity, and it is also an emblematic symbol of one of the most important roots of Western culture»: with these words, Minister of Cultural Heritage Lorenzo Ornaghi introduced Grande Progetto Pompei, a major project which, after three months of planning, aims to organize a series of maintenance, conservation, and restoration efforts that will end on 31 December 2015.
 
The total cost of the plan, 105 million Euros, has been approved by the European Union and will be drawn from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). Activities will include maintenance and the implementation of safety measures in the 66-hectare archaeological area. The first five funded projects will involve the restoration of the House of Siricus, the House of the Sailor, the House of Castor and Pollux, and the House of Red Walls, and the shoring up of the House of the Cryptoporticus. Several other projects are expected to be announced in July 2012 to implement safety measures in the most degraded parts of the ancient city, those that are most at risk of collapse.
 
The plan has five main areas of activity: surveys and diagnostics; consolidation of existing structures; upgrading of safety, security, and video surveillance systems; and strengthening of the organizational and technological structure of the superintendence.
 
Along with the restoration plan, a Protocol for Legality was underwritten between the Naples Prefecture and the Archaeological Superintendence for Pompeii; the guidelines will be implemented by the Working Group for Legality and Safety of Grande Progetto Pompei. The Working Group will be presided by the Prefect Fernando Guida, who will ensure the implementation of all activities suitable for ensuring the legality of all contracts related to the project and prevent criminal infiltrations. In this regard, all businesses involved in Grande Progetto Pompei will be supervised even with regards to the most minor of operations; all financial flows and the safety of all construction yards will be stringently monitored.




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