Pompeii and Herculaneum treasures rise from the ashes
It was one of the most destructive natural disasters in history, a volcanic eruption eradicating all traces of life in its wake.
But a major new exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum will show the lives of their people before the explosion in 79AD, and particularly how the Roman Empire’s citizens celebrated beauty and decoration in even the most routine of objects.
It will feature fresh discoveries and previously unseen treasures from the Roman cities destroyed by Mount Vesuvius, including recently unearthed jewels, art works and household items, as vivid the day they were last used.
Miraculously preserved by the volcanic ash that engulfed both cities in southern Italy, they provide an extraordinary glimpse into the daily lives of their owners. Read more.
Ancient Pompeii gets 105-million euro makeover
POMPEII, Italy — Conservation workers at the long-neglected Roman city of Pompeii began a 105-million euro ($142-million) makeover partly funded by the EU on Wednesday, a day after former site managers were put under investigation for corruption.
The project, which is being funded to the tune of 41.8 million euros from the European Union and is to be completed by 2015, is seen as crucial for the survival of Pompeii after a series of collapses at the 44-hectare site in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
The giant erupting volcano devastated Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago in 79 AD but the ash and rock helped preserve many buildings almost in their original state, as well as forming eery shapes around the curled-up corpses of victims of the disaster. Read more.
The Latest Threat to Pompeii’s Treasures: Italy’s Red Tape
POMPEII, Italy — Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Pompeii survived excavation starting in the 18th century and has stoically borne the wear and tear of millions of modern-day tourists.
But now, its deep-hued frescoes, brick walls and elegant tile mosaics appear to be at risk from an even greater threat: the bureaucracy of the Italian state.
In recent years, collapses at the site have alarmed conservationists, who warn that this ancient Roman city is dangerously exposed to the elements — and is poorly served by the red tape, the lack of strategic planning and the limited personnel of the site’s troubled management.
The site’s decline has captured the attention of the European Union, which began a $137 million effort in February that aims to balance preservation with accessibility to tourists. Read more.