Still Yet Another Collapse at Pompeii

From the Guardian:

Italy’s culture minister demanded explanations on Sunday after more collapses this weekend in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii raised concerns about the state of one of the world’s most treasured archaeological sites.

Pompeii, preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79AD and rediscovered in the 18th century, has been hit by a series of collapses in recent months and years which have sparked international outcry over the neglect of the site.

Officials said the wall of a tomb about 1.7 metres high and 3.5 metres long collapsed in the necropolis of Porta Nocera in the early hours of Sunday.

That followed a smaller collapse on Saturday of part of an arch supporting the Temple of Venus.

Heavy rains were cited as the immediate cause.

The Temple of Venus is in an area of the site which was already closed to visitors, while access to the necropolis has been closed following the collapse of the wall.

Culture minister Dario Franceschini, appointed last month in the new government of Matteo Renzi, summoned officials responsible for the site to Rome for an “emergency meeting” on Tuesday.

He said he wanted a report on the reasons for the latest collapses and would verify routine maintenance at Pompeii as well as the progress of an ambitious restoration project launched last year with European Union funds.

Italian media have highlighted the contrast between the management of Pompeii and a successful exhibition about the ancient Roman city at the British Museum in London last year, which attracted record numbers of visitors.

Pompeii, a Unesco world heritage site, was home to about 13,000 people when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust as it endured the force of an eruption equivalent to 40 atomic bombs.

Two-thirds of the 66-hectare town has since been uncovered. The site attracts more than two million tourists each year, making it one of Italy’s most popular attractions.

All the articles include a photo of the collapsed wall … it doesn’t strike me as a rain-caused collapse. It looks like something that was pushed.

More coverage:

Another Wall Collapse at Pompeii

Oddly … this doesn’t seem to be getting much press attention. From the English edition of Gazzetta del Sud:

A stone wall collapsed at the Pompeii archaeological site on Friday, probably due to the wave of bad weather that is currently battering Italy. The wall was in an area of the site that had been sealed off from the public for work to make it safe. The collapse involved roughly two cubic meters of the wall, which was part of the Regio VI archeological area uncovered in the 19th century. Frescoes were not reported to be damaged. After recent collapses in the past two years, there has been growing concern about Italy’s ability to protect the 2,000-year-old site from further degradation and the impact of the local mafia, the Camorra. In April this year a wall surrounding an ancient Pompeii villa collapsed just two weeks after the Italian government launched a joint 105-million-euro project with the European Union to save the UNESCO World Heritage site. In February a yard-long piece of plaster fell off the ancient Temple of Jupiter. In late December a pillar collapsed in the garden of the House of Loreius Tiburtinus, famous for its extensive gardens and outdoor ornamentation, in particular its Euripi, fountains that feature many frescoes and statuettes. In November 2010 there was a collapse in the House of the Gladiators which drew criticism from UNESCO and the European Union. It was followed soon after by a collapse at the famed House of the Moralist, spurring further criticism from international conservation groups. In October 2010 there were another three minor cave-ins, including one at the House of Diomedes, after a fresh bout of heavy rain and an outcry when an eight-square-metre section of a wall fell near the Nola Gate. Pompeii was destroyed when a volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city in ash in 79 AD and it now attracts more than two million visitors a year. Polemics about looting, stray dogs, structural decay and poor maintenance have dogged Pompeii in recent years.

I can’t find any photos of the collapse, for some reason. Whatever the case, what’s even more interesting is that just a scant couple of weeks ago, UPI was reporting:

Deterioration at the ancient city of Pompeii has been exaggerated by the media and efforts to protect the site are making progress, Italian officials say.

Recent collapses of structures have resulted in growing concern about Italy’s ability to protect the 2,000-year-old site from further degradation, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported.

“Problems exist at Pompeii but they have been exaggerated by negative journalists,” Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro, Special Archaeological Superintendent for Naples and Pompeii, told ANSA. [...]

Not sure if this will work, but here’s a ‘search link’ to all the instances of the word ‘collapse’ at rogueclassicism … I’ll let you decide whether we’re ‘exaggerating’ (and I have difficulties wrapping my head around the ideas of a ‘wall collapsing’ and the concept of ‘exaggeration’ … sorry).

‘Collapse’ at the Villa of the Mysteries

Brief reports filtering in of a beam falling from the ceiling in one of the rooms at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. No reports of actual damage, apparently, other than then beam itself falling. Here’s a few examples (all in Italian, and all with a photo):

 

Another Wall Collapse at Pompeii

Not sure whether this will make it out of the Italian press … the La Repubblica coverage briefly mentions the collapse of an interior wall of a house without one of those fancy schmancy names in Regio V … the area wasn’t open to the public:

Ancora un crollo all’interno degli Scavi di Pompei. L’ennesimo cedimento nel sito archeologico più grande del mondo è avvenuto ieri pomeriggio. Ha riguardato una parte non estesa di un muro di cinta all’interno di una domus senza nome della Regio V. L’area era stata già interdetta al pubblico.

La Soprintendenza Archeologica Speciale di Napoli e Pompei ha confermato il cedimento del muro – di età romana, intonacato. L’area in cui il muro è crollato sarà oggetto di bandi per il restauro. «Stiamo lavorando per la messa in sicurezza anche in questa zona», dice la soprintendente archeologa di Napoli e Pompei, Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro, che ha redatto un’informativa sul cedimento. Una relazione è stata inviata anche ai carabinieri.

Nei giorni scorsi il Napoletano è stato flagellato da piogge abbondanti che sono probabilmente tra le concause del cedimento.

via: Pompei, ancora un crollo all’interno degli Scavi (La Repubblica)

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