On 6 February, the European Commission announced the use of €41.8 million through the EU Regional Funds (ERDF), in a project aiming to conserve the ruins of Pompeii.
European Commissioner responsible for Regional Affairs Johannes Hahn commented, “I have taken a great personal interest in getting this project off the ground ever since I heard about the collapse of the House of the Gladiators in November 2010 when I happened to be in Rome. I am delighted that we are using EU regional funds to help save a site which is important to the world, to Italy and above all to the region of Campania itself. Here is a chance not just to help save something which is part of Europe's cultural identity but to revitalise Campania's economy by attracting more visitors and creating new jobs.”
The Pompeii project, which total funding is estimated at €105 million, will undertake: (i) to consolidate the structures of the archaeological site, starting with the areas ranked "high risk" pursuant to the 'Archaeological Risk Map'; (ii) to build a water canalisation and drainage system In the non-excavated state property area leaning over the ancient buildings; (iii) to implement the consolidation, restoration and enhancement works in line with the method of programmed preservation; (iv) and to improve the training of staff, working on site for the 'Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Naples and Pompeii' (SANP).
Pompeii, was founded around the 7th-6th century BC by the Osci (Italic people of Campania), and it was used as a port by Greek and Phoenician sailors. The ancient Roman town, located near Naples was buried in thick ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. However, when the site was rediscovered in 1748 and underneath the layer of ash and debris, most the town and even details of everyday life were preserved.