Italy announces Pompeii project plan

April 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

NAPLES, Italy, April 6 (UPI) -- The Italian government says its Great Pompeii Project will save and maintain the historic archaeological site that "must remain standing."

Italian Premier Mario Monti introduced the plans for the project in Naples Thursday, ANSA reported.

The undertaking would eliminate illegality and mismanagement, Monti said, to "secure the site's damaged areas and to ensure that this is done using capable, honest businesses, not organized crime."

Last month the EU Commission approved restoration funds for Pompeii's ailing monuments, with Italy promising matching funds.

The total sum of $140 million is intended to "preserve, maintain and improve the site, not only in the interest of Italy, but for the entire heritage of Europe," European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said.

"Pompeii must remain standing," Monti said in announcing the plans for revamping and preserving the ancient archaeological site.

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