Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pompeii Ruins Ruined

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii, once home to 13,000 people, is in disarray. The walls have begun to decay to everyone's dismay possibly leading to a doomsday unless a floodway can prevent the mayday. Ya dig? Earlier this month, the city that was once wiped out by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (a force equivalent to 40 atomic bombs) in 79 A.D. suffered a series of wall collapses caused by heavy rain. With two million visitors every year, the current state of the crumbling site has sparked international outcry.

Image sources: The Guardian and Haaretz
As the Italian flick 'The Great Beauty' won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the walls of Pompeii were falling apart. Many believe the coincidence is a warning sign to preserve Italian history and heritage. I think the more logical explanation is the February 21st release of the film, Pompeii, which is averaging a one star review on Rotten Tomatoes. Shitty movies upset Roman deities.

Image source: Beyond Hollywood

In early March, an arch supporting the Temple of Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty, fell to pieces. Within days, the walls of a tomb and an ancient shop followed. The multiple collapses around Pompeii is leading to an emergency meeting to assess the damage, verify routine maintenance and make plans to restore the site.

This isn't the first time Pompeii has needed a helping hand. In 2010 the House of Gladiators collapsed which prompted the establishment of a 105 million-euro fund to save the city but only 10 million has since been spent. All cash must be used by 2015 or funding will be withdrawn. "For every crumbling that is reported, there are another nine that do not make news," Antonio Irlando, president of the Cultural Heritage Observatory said.

A two million euro plan was approved recently for Pompeii's maintenance. A plan to ensure strong drainage for rainwater is needed. Without it, the city is destined to collapse entirely.

As if mother nature wasn't the biggest bitch, thieves recently stole a section of a Pompeii fresco. The thieves chipped off an eight inch section of fresco depicting the goddess Artemis from a site known as the House of Neptune and Amphitrite. Although the theft occurred March 12th, news is only now being released so that it did not interfere with the investigation at the time.

Image sources: Archaeology News Network and Nation Multimedia

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