After the completion of the restoration works co-financed by the EU Cohesion Policy, the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is expected to welcome almost 200 000 additional tourists per year.
Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Creţu, who visited the project in February, said: "In Pompeii we restore and preserve works of art from the past, but we are really doing it for our future; so our grandchildren can enjoy this unique site, part of our common History and cultural identity. And we are also contributing significantly to the economic development of the Campania region, by boosting tourism and entrepreneurship."
The €50 million investment package finances the consolidation of the structures and ancient buildings of the archaeological site in order to restore its urban character, the construction of a water canalisation and drainage system, other restoration and enhancement works as well as training for the staff.
The EU started supporting renovation works in Pompeii in the 2000-2006 financial period, and adopted the Pompeii "major project", worth €105 million overall, in 2007-2013. Today's decision will allow this project to be completed with funds from the 2014-2020 period.
The UNESCO site of Pompeii has been under excavation to varying degrees since 1748. Exposure of the excavated site as well as poor excavation techniques mean that the site has deteriorated over time.
The Pompeii major project aims to stop and reverse the deterioration of the site while consolidating disparate sites into a single excavated area. In 2016, the site was also made wheel chair accessible, with the help of EU funds.