This new and progressing project will catalogue online the inscribed and scratched graffiti on the walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum. At the moment it focuses on Region 1 Insula 8. Visit the site, then search the database, or click on Reg.
THE earth shook. The air burned. A terrified little boy scrambled for the safety of his mother’s lap. Now, more than 2000 years later, he’s finally emerged from his tragic embrace in the buried city of Pompeii.
Pompeii is facing another explosive threat — cruise ship tourists, who are destroying the ancient site as they traipse en masse through it, according to a United Nations official.
"Cruise tourists are wearing out the ruins of Pompeii. The entrance steps of the Temple of Apollo, in particular, have been ruined by the influx of tourists,” UNESCO official Adele Lagi said at a conference held by the nonprofit group I Love Pompeii.
Lagi said visitors should be diverted to other nearby archaeological sites, which are just as impressive but less crowded.
By contrast, about 3 million tourists trample through Pompeii every year.
"Tourists should know that there’s an untapped potential: Herculaneum receives 300,000 visits annually, the Villa Poppea only 30,000,” she said.
The conference was held to discuss the planned railroad hub at Pompeii that would connect the ruins to major Italian cities and other archaeological sites.
An I Love Pompeii spokesman said the rail hub could "bring great benefit not just to Pompeii but to other sites in the area," by distributing the flow of tourists more evenly among the key sites, the site reported.
But a press spokesman from the site there was no need to turn tourists away from Pompeii.
"High numbers of tourists concentrated in a single place does cause damage, but the way to avoid that is to redirect the itineraries within Pompeii and promote different parts of the site, such as the exhibitions and less-visited areas," she said.
Pompeii, once a thriving Roman city, was buried by ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
A 2,000-year old wall surrounding an ancient villa at Pompeii has collapsed – just two weeks after the Italian government launched a 105 million euro project (£86 million) to save the precious archaeological site.
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