On Saturday, an old stone house collapsed in Pompeii. The building had been closed to the public, but was known for the beautiful gladiator frescos on its interior walls. Historians believe this was the place gladiators trained and relaxed before fighting.
According to the Telegraph, the Italian government has been criticized for allowing Pompeii to fall into disrepair over the years. But everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else. Some claim the site has management problems, others say the problem is lack of government money, still others argue it’s just the effects of weather.
Officials said they were “hopeful” that the frescoes could be saved with Professor Christopher Smith, the director of the British School in Rome which carried out digs across Italy offering his help and knowledge.
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Professor Smith, has not worked at Pompeii but the School is known for its dig at nearby Herculaneum which was also buried in the same eruption of Mt Vesuvius and is much better preserved and maintained.
Professor Smith said: “It’s extremely sad to see what has happened at Pompeii, which is clearly suffering problems from its maintenance… Archeological sites are always at risk when they are open to the elements but the problems at Pompeii have been going back for decades and our experience is that you need a good plan for maintenance and administration.”
Another significant piece of history — part of Nero’s Golden Palace — also crumbled about eight months ago in Rome after significant rain infiltration.