Well, no better way than getting back into the swing of things with Pompeii in the news in the past few days. Work is set to commence this week on one of the most ambitious restoration and maintenance efforts in Pompeii in decades. Thanks to 105 million Euros of European funding. On the flip side, the 2010 construction work in Pompeii on the Large Theatre as well as all the spending on Pompei Viva has come back to bite the former special commissioner Marcelo Fiori as he and a handful of others are either arrested or indicted on charges of misapprpriation of funds and corruption....I'll post some of the reports here.
Italy police make arrest in Pompeii investigation
Tue, Feb 5 2013
ROME (Reuters) - Italian police arrested a former restorer of the ancient city of Pompeii on corruption charges on Tuesday and are investigating five others, including the former special commissioner appointed to deal with the increasing degradation of the historic site.
Italy declared a state of emergency in 2008 at Pompeii after archaeologists and art historians complained about the poor upkeep of the crumbling site, pointing to mismanagement and lack of investment.
A special commissioner, Marcello Fiori, was also appointed for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient Roman city which was buried by an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in AD 79.
But investigators say Fiori and the director of restoration at the time, Luigi D'Amora, awarded irregular contracts to the restoration services company Caccavo and paid inflated prices for its work.
Collapsed walls and columns since 2008 have renewed concerns about the condition of the site.
Prosecutors say the officials broke the terms of the state of emergency, overspent on various restoration projects and agreed to non-essential work on Pompeii, one of Italy's most popular attractions, visited by some 2.5 million tourists each year.
They have accused Fiori of abuse of office while D'Amora is being investigated for fraud.
Police have put Caccavo official Annamaria Caccavo under house arrest and are investigating her for aiding abuse of office, corrupting a public official and fraud.
The company has been banned from doing business with public administration and police have ordered the seizure of 810,788 euros worth of its assets. Three engineers are also being investigated for fraud and corruption.
The accused parties were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting By Catherine Hornby and Massimilano Di Giorgio; Editing by Oliver Holmes)
5 February 2013 Last updated at 17:25 GMT
Pompeii restorer Annamaria Cavaco accused of fraudThe site of the ancient city of Pompeii is among the most popular tourist venues in Italy.
A former restorer of Pompeii is under house arrest on corruption charges, Italian police have said.
Five others, including the ex-special commissioner appointed to deal with the increasing degradation of the historic site, are also under investigation.
In 2008, the country declared a state of emergency at the site of the ancient Roman city buried by an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in AD 79.
Annamaria Caccavo denies charges of corruption and fraud against her firm.
Ms Caccavo, whose Salerno-based firm carried out projects within the internal area of Pompeii at a total cost of some eight million euros (£6.9m), is currently under house arrest.
Her firm, Caccavo, has been blocked from taking public contracts and has had assets of some 810,000 euros (£702,000) seized.
Police investigators also say that the former special commissioner, nominated to oversee efforts to restore the ruins, Marcello Fiori as well as the then director of restoration, Luigi D'Amora, awarded irregular contracts to Ms Caccavo's firm, paying inflated prices.
They are also accused of breaking the terms of the state of emergency by overspending on various restoration projects and agreeing to non-essential work on the site, which draws some 2.5 million tourists each year.