NAPLES, Fla., May 20 (UPI) -- Efforts to preserve the ancient Italian archaeological site at Pompeii are succeeding, an international conference was told Tuesday.
Massimo Osanna, superintendent of the site outside Naples, Italy, where a volcanic eruption by Mount Vesuvius destroyed the resort city in 79 A.D., said international involvement to preserve the ruins has largely been successful.
"I'm very confident we'll make it," he told the conference at Pompeii.
The European Commission pledged 105 million Euro ($143.8 million) for repairs and restoration, and accusations of poor security, thefts, mismanagement and neglect have been addressed. Collapsing walls in March followed warnings by UNESCO that Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, could fall apart and lose its World Heritage status unless immediate action was undertaken. "Pompeii is a site to preserve and bring to life, and it can be the heart of a tourist revival," said Francesca Barracciu, Italy's undersecretary of cultural heritage and tourism.
The conference highlights cultural dialogue between Mediterranean cities, with an emphasis on economics, identity and communication of cultural values.