From The Independent:
The mafia left Naples in ruins. Can they do the same to Pompeii?Read the full article here.
After years of neglect, the World Heritage site is getting public money for restoration, and that is attracting the Camorra.
Having been buried under ash from Mount Vesuvius almost 2000 years ago, the Roman city of Pompeii managed to rise again – becoming one of the world’s most famous historic sites and tourist attractions.
But over the past decade – under the weight of 2.3 million trampling visitors’ feet every year – it has fallen into woeful neglect and is in urgent need of restoration.
This was amply demonstrated in 2010 with the collapse of the site’s House of the Gladiators.
“We’re stunned when walls fall down,” said Andrea Carandini, a world-renowned archaeologist, at the time. “But these are ruins not systematically maintained, so the miracle is that so few of them collapse.”
Yet in the fight to save Pompeii, another enemy has emerged in the guise of the Naples mafia, and now some observers fear it might take another miracle to protect Pompeii, ancient Rome’s version of Sin City, from the clutches of the mob.
Last week, investigators announced a probe into suspected Mafia involvement in Pompeii restoration works undertaken as part of a €105m (£90m) project funded by the Italian Government and the European Union following decades of “neglect and mismanagement” at the site.