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Press Kit: New excavations underway reveal intact finds
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
Pompeii is the only archaeological site in the world where an ancient Roman city can be seen in its entirety. The town, a hub of trade full of life, was frozen in time by the well-known 79 A.D. eruption, which covered everything in ashes and lapilli: houses, people, roads, public buildings and everyday objects. Everything was captured in a terrible snapshot.
The archaeological site of Pompeii, a World Heritage Site since 1997, is situated in the buffer zone including the towns of Portici, Herculaneum, Torre del Greco, Torre Annunziata, Castellammare di Stabia, Pompeii, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase and Trecase, up as far as the boundary of the Vesuvius National Park.
Providing such a rich historical context the site actually held the record for the most visited place in the world for a long time. The ancient city covers an area of about 66 hectares, about 44 of which have been excavated. 1500 buildings (domus and monuments) have been brought to light. From the mere point of view of quantity the following figures account for the professional and economic resources required:
• 500 buildings
• 2 million cubic metres of walls
• 000 square metres of paintings
• 000 square metres of plasters
• 000 square metres of floors
• 000 square metres of protective coverings
Thus, it is not just a vast archaeological area, but a complex urban system, an entire ancient city, attracting about 3,500,000 visitors (reference year 2017). When the city was hit by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79A.D., it was still suffering the consequences of the 62A.D. earthquake. After 17 centuries, the excavations which have been carried out since the mid-18th century have brought two thirds of the city to light.
Over the years, many factors have put the site in danger. The progressive and inexorable deterioration of the structures was sometimes accelerated by improper restoration methods (especially after World War II), erosion due to weather conditions, overgrowing vegetation, air pollution, and anthropic erosion.
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF POMPEII
Italian law no. 456 of 6th August 1981 decreed the foundation of the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii, in the aftermath of the 1981 earthquake. It split the Superintendency into two institutions, one of which covered the municipalities of the Vesuvian area while the other covered the rest of the Province of Naples and the National Archaeological Museum. By order of the Bourbons this museum had been designated to host the Farnese collection as well as the antiquities found amongst the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Art. 9 of Italian law no. 352 of 8th October 1997 granted the Superintendency scientific, organizational, administrative, and financial autonomy. The archaeological superintendent was supported by an administrative manager.
Presidential Decree no. 233 of 26th November 2007 set up the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Naples and Pompeii which, similarly to the new Museum Complexes, was vested with budgetary autonomy. Its area of competence encompassed the whole Province of Naples and included not only Pompeii, but also Herculaneum and other sites of the Vesuvian area, the Phlegraean Fields area (with Cuma, Pozzuoli, and Baiae), Naples and its National Archaeological Museum, the Sorrento Coast, Ischia, and Capri.
A few months after the Special Superintendency was established, a Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers dated 4th July 2008 declared the archaeological area of Pompeii to be in a state of emergency due to the hazardous conditions of the ruins. The Decree appointed a Special Commissioner, who completed his activities by 31st July 2010. Thereafter the Special Superintendency returned to its routine activities.
In January 2014, the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage Sites of Naples and Pompeii was divided into two institutions, one of which covered Naples, the Phlegraean Fields area and Caserta, while the other one covered the Vesuvian sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, and Boscoreale). This latter one became the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae.
Since January 2016, its official name has been Pompeii Superintendency . The Ministerial Decree known as DM Franceschini of January 2017 renamed the archaeological areas managed by the Superintendency as the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.
Every year, the Archaeological Park of Pompeii allocates some of its own resources to restoration and maintenance activities in the archaeological site.
The overall revenues consist of 98% in own revenues (ticket revenue, royalties and concessions) and the rest in State transfers.
The expenditures are as follows:
70% actions on archaeological structures (restoration works, safety and security, facilities, etc.)
30% miscellaneous expenses (ordinary maintenance, cleaning services, electricity, maintenance of the green areas, etc.)
SERVICES AND FACILITIES AT THE EXCAVATION SITE
There are three access points to the excavation site:
• Porta Marina, near the train station of the Circumvesuviana railway line.
• Piazza Esedra, near the motorway exit.
• Piazza Anfiteatro, towards the modern city.
These are the main services and facilities offered to visitors:
Information Office by Porta Marina and Piazza Esedra (information available in 4 languages)
Audio guide service (Porta Marina).
Tourist guides coordination.
Restaurant service inside the excavation site.
Medical assistance/ First-aid station.
Near the excavation site in Pompeii there is also an operating police station (Carabinieri Corps), carrying out daily monitoring activities in support of the Superintendency.
The tourist flow is rather consistent. Pompeii is the second most visited archaeological site in Italy, following the complex Coliseum-Forum-Palatine Hill in Rome. It attracts about 3,500,000 visitors per year, generating an average income of over €20,000,000 a year.