The Berlusconi government is coming under fire for failing to protect buildings at Pompeii and elsewhere from the elements. A piece of Rome’s colosseum fell, part of the home of Emperor Nero crumbled, and now buildings at Pompeii are being damaged by the elements.
All this while Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti said “you can’t eat culture” as he cut funds for the culture ministry. I think anyone who has experienced the delights of Porchetta might seriously disagree with that assertion. That dish was mentioned by Roman writers as early as 400 BCE.
Sylvia Poggioli reports that:
Budget cuts led to a drastic drop in the number of guards, so it’s easy to sneak into the houses and get a glimpse of ancient frescoed walls that are exposed to the elements. Made with humble local stone, these homes were not built to last 2,000 years — all the more need for routine maintenance.
- Sylvia Poggioli, A Collapse In Pompeii Highlights Neglect In Italy NPR, http://www.npr.org/2010/12/02/131581852/a-collapse-in-pompeii-highlights-neglect-in-italy (last visited Dec 2, 2010).