Three years ago, walls were collapsing and Pompeii was a scandal in the world. Three years late many things have changed: in the ancient city 22 new houses were inaugurated and opened to public. Moreover, at the end of October it has been reached the milestone of 3 million visitors a year to date.
These are only two numbers, but they give a sign of change due to the availability of funds (105 million of the Great Pompeii Project) and to an organization that involves the local authorities, supported by the Ministry of Culture. The "Great Pompeii Project Unity", now directed by Luigi Curatoli, operates in parallel with the Superintendence of Pompeii.
In the first two years of the new course they have been put to tender 76 interventions. Of these these, 42 were concluded with a total expenditure of 40.7 million of euros. In 2016, they transferred unspent funds from the Poin "cultural attractors" to the new "Pon Culture" of the 2014-2020 programming period. 14 restorations were concluded, 15 new yards have been started with an expenditure to date of more than 20 million of euros. "By the end of 2018, or at least early 2019, the entire project will be completed” says Curatoli.
Meanwhile, the climate has changed in Pompeii: the site has become a venue for cultural events, ranging from large summer concerts to the exhibition of the casts, the exhibition of historical photos, the great statues of the Polish sculptor - but Italian by adoption - Igor Mitoraj. And only a few days ago, the Superintendent has started a mutual cooperation agreement with the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, in Russia.
However, Pompeii is only half-way to go. From the beginning, the Great Project has planned redevelopment and urban regeneration of the area outside the city walls, which includes nine towns near the Mount Vesuvius: this is an economically and socially depressed area that could benefit from the opportunity of growth offered by tourism development. "Of the three million visitors to Pompeii only 3% hold more than a visit to the excavations. We must work to organize an incoming tourism in order to extend the stay for at least two or three days - says Ambrogio Prezioso, president of the Industrial entrepreneurs of Naples – We also need a masterplan to persuade national and international investors. "
The unit led by Curatoli is preparing a strategic plan that could be completed in three months and then submitted to the Management Committee chaired by the Minister of Heritage and cultural activities and tourism Dario Franceschini. The Industrial entrepreneurs of Naples, through the association “Naplest et Pompeii”, is providing its support in the preparation of the Strategic Plan, in the promotion and selection of private initiatives and attraction of domestic and foreign investors.
The second chapter of the Great Project is yet to be written, starting from the outer perimeter of the excavations, still in serious neglect, and the relaunch of the other Vesuvian archaeological sites of Stabiae, Oplontis and Boscoreale, so far not even touched by the new course.
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Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.