Pompeii's Villa of Mysteries at risk of collapse
The Villa of Mysteries, considered the ‘crown jewel’ of the ancient city of Pompeii, is at risk of collapse due to vibrations from nearby trains mainly used by tourists and seismic activity in the Bay of Naples, a new report has warned.
|Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii [Credit: WikiCommons]|
The project was trumpeted as a rare success story compared to Pompeii’s record of mismanagement and neglect that jeopardized its EU funding and Unesco world heritage site listing.
In addition to the vibrations from the Vesuvius light railway commuter trains, which ferry tourists to Pompeii from Naples, the protective structure around the villa, built in armoured cement, wood and steel 50 years ago is threatened by its own weight and water ingress.
The alarm about the Villa’s security first was raised four years ago when a heavy wooden beam in the roof covering its colonnaded interior courtyard collapsed, leading many rooms to be closed at the time.
|Detail of flagellation and dancer from fresco cycle, fresco in Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii|
[Credit: Getty Creative]
The ENEA, added that the villa is not an isolated case at Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, with in all 10 ancient Roman villas at risk of their concrete protective structures collapsing.
“The work we are carrying out at the Villa of Mysteries is aimed at creating a model of monitoring and diagnosis that can be applied to other villas with similar covering,” said Dr Carpani.
Italian Culture Minister Enrico Franceschini earlier this year said that Italy was on schedule to meet a European Union deadline to spend €105 million (£76 million) in EU funds by the end of the year for maintenance and restoration projects at Pompeii.
Author: John Phillips | Source: The Telegraph [June 21, 2016]