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European Commission - Press release

Commission approves funding for Pompeii to restore important European heritage site

Brussels, 29 March 2012 – Today, the European Commission has approved funding from the European Regional Development Fund for a major project to restore the area of the UNESCO site of Pompeii, in Campania, Italy. The project 'preservation, maintenance and improvement of the archaeological site of Pompeii' will lead to the investment of 105 million euro of EU and national contributions combined. The objective is to preserve the site as a long term tourism attraction for the region.

At the end of October 2011, torrential rainfall caused serious damage to the world famous archaeological site, while violent storms had already caused its partial collapse in 2010. The approved major project comes after an application from the Italian authorities and an action plan agreed with the Commission, assessing the scope of works needed to rehabilitate the site. Pompeii as one of the major European cultural and historical heritage sites attracts tourists from all over the world and is an important economical factor for the entire Campania region.

Commenting on the approval, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn stated: "We have given the green light for this major restoration, not only in the interest of Italy, but for the whole European historical heritage. I am confident that this will have a positive impact on the tourism sector and economy in the area, and by extension on the lives of all citizens in the region."

The investment comes through a programme called "Attrattori culturali, naturali e turismo" designed to support the cultural, natural and tourist attractions in Campania, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily from 2007-2013. The programme has been amended to redirect investment towards this project.

In 2000-2006, the European regional policy already supported 22 restoration projects on the Pompeii site worth €7.7 million from ERDF (50% of their total cost).

More information

The Pompeii project will undertake:

  • consolidation of the structures of the archaeological site, starting with the areas ranked "high risk" pursuant to the 'Archaeological Risk Map';

  • to build a water canalisation and drainage system in the non-excavated state property area leaning over the ancient buildings;

  • to implement the consolidation, restoration and enhancement works in line with the method of programmed preservation;

  • to improve the training of staff, working on site for the 'Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Naples and Pompeii' (SANP).

Some preparations (staff recruitment etc) have already begun. There are 39 individual projects ready to begin in sequence once they receive the final green light. Together with the Italian authorities, before the end of April decisions should be taken on when works should start and about a further timeframe for the completion of the project.

Video of Commissioner Hahn's visit to Pompeii – EbS Reference: 80984

European regional policy in Campania

EU Regional Policy Major Projects

Contact :

Ton Van Lierop (+32 2 296 65 65)

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