Italian government under fire after Pompeii building collapses

By Sarah Ostman

Newspapers and political pundits are calling on Italy’s government to privatize Pompeii, an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash and visited by 2.5 million tourists per year, after a 2,000-year-old building crumbled to the ground.

No one was injured when the stone building, thought to be a club house once used by gladiators, went down just after sunrise on Saturday. But the collapse at one of the country’s most prized historical sites has caused widespread public outcry.

Critics blame the government, saying leaders have let the ancient city fall into disrepair. Some argue that corporate sponsorship is the answer to preservation, and would provide benefits well worth the addition of some company logos at the site’s entrance.

One newspaper ran a story Sunday under the headline, “Pompeii — the collapse of shame,” while a minority-party politician called the incident “the latest sign that this government is not interested in culture.”

Read the Guardian story here.


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