Column and wall crumble in fresh damage at Italy's ancient Pompeii
ROME (Reuters) - Parts of a column and wall in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii collapsed on Thursday due to heavy rainfall, authorities said, in the latest of a string of incidents to damage the UNESCO world heritage site.
One of the country's most popular attractions, Pompeii was preserved under ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 AD and rediscovered in the 18th century. It has become a symbol for decades of mismanagement of Italy's cultural sites after a series of collapses that have sparked international outcry.
The authorities responsible for Pompeii's upkeep said the upper part of a column and part of a wall had given way in an ancient shop in a part of the 66-hectare (165-acre) site already closed to visitors.
The superintendent of Pompeii, Massimo Osanna, said the damage was "of a limited size, although any incident of this type at Pompeii cannot be underestimated".
The damage occurred in a part of the site due to be restructured under the Great Pompeii Project, a 105 million-euro ($145 million) restoration plan partly funded by the European Union and launched early last year.
Work is currently halted due to a legal case against the group that won the restoration contract.
Pompeii was home to about 13,000 people when the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, with a force equivalent to 40 atomic bombs, buried the town under ash, pumice, pebbles and dust.
Trending On Reuters
We are living longer but not creating financial plans to keep pace. Advisers give tips on how to make sure you don’t outlive your money. Video