Pompeii is at risk of losing 105 million euros made available by the European Commission at the beginning of 2012 because the Italian commissioner who should coordinate the restoration and preservation project has not been appointed yet.
“This is too much delay for such an important project,” said Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy. “Italy and the region of Campania risk losing funds for the archaeological site.”
Hahn added that, besides being important for Italy and the rest of the world, this restoration project is important for Campania where it can contribute to the creation of new jobs and help the local economy by attracting quality tourism to the area.
The need for a restoration and preservation project follows a series of structural collapses at the popular tourist site near Naples. The collapses have been blamed on years of mismanagement and underfunding. New damage was reported Friday, following days of ceaseless rain in the area.
It appears the nomination's delay is due to some internal political disagreements at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities on whether to appoint a person within the ministry or an independent expert.
In order to pressure the Italian political authorities to name the commissioner and not lose the funds, a petition has been launched on Change.org.
You can learn more and sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/it/petizioni/salviamo-pompei-let-s-save-pompeii-stiamo-per-perdere-105-milioni-di-stanziati-dalla-commissione-ue