Thieves steal part of Pompeii fresco

  • AFP, Rome
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2014 19:45 IST
A-handout-combination-of-photo-released-by-the-Italian-culture-minister-press-office-on-March-18-shows-an-ancient-fresco-from-Pompeii-top-and-the-same-fresco-after-thieves-removed-the-portrait-of-a-Greek-deity-from-it-as-they-broke-into-a-closed-area-of-the-UNESCO-World-Heritage-landmark-in-Pompeii-AFP-photo

Thieves have stolen part of an ancient fresco from Pompeii, breaking in to a closed area of the UNESCO World Heritage landmark and chipping off a portrait of a Greek deity.

A custodian doing rounds last week discovered "the removal of a part of a fresco in the House of Neptune," where a depiction of the goddess Artemis had been "chiseled off with a metallic object," the Roman site's curator department said in a statement Tuesday.

Police have launched an investigation into the theft of the 20 centimetre (eight-inch) wide fragment, which occurred in an area closed to the public, leaving a glaring white slash in the pink-toned fresco, where a second Greek character now stands forlornly alone.

The discovery sparked outrage in Italy, with Il Messaggero describing it as "a shame for the country", made doubly embarrassing by the recent appointment of a new "super-superintendent" for the site.

The theft comes on the back of a series of collapses in the long-neglected ruins near Naples, which have drawn international concern.

The Temple of Venus and walls of a tomb were damaged earlier this month after heavy rains, prompting the European Union to urge Italy to "take care of Pompeii, because it is emblematic not only for Europe but also for the world."

In response, Italy said it would unblock some two million euros ($2.8 million) to help oil the wheels of a major EU-backed project to restore the site.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also appealed to private investors to help restore the ruins.

Last year, conservation workers began a 105-million-euro makeover of Pompeii, funded by the EU to the tune of 41.8 million euros.

But according to the Corriere della Sera daily, only 588,000 euros have been spent so far -- just 0.56 percent of the funds.

The project is seen as crucial to the survival of the 44-hectare site in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed the city of Pompeii in 79 AD.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Kerry to urge ASEAN to find diplomatic ways to ease South China Sea tensions
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome