Just as I was wrapping up the previous post I learned that two more walls gave way inside Pompeii. Despite ongoing preservation and restoration efforts at the 2,000-year-old archaeological site, this string of recent collapses was triggered by uncharacteristically heavy rains sweeping across southern Italy. UNESCO experts will arrive on Thursday to evaluate the damage and determine where are the additional vulnerable areas. Perhaps these global heritage specialists will consult Italian archaeologists’ “risk map of cultural landmarks”; according to this list, Pompeii and Herculaneum, just two of the dozens of precious archaeological sites under critical review, have suffered from irreversible damage after years of neglect and inadequate maintenance.
Pompeii was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and an estimated 3 million visitors pass through the site annually.