Two years ago, when the 2,000-year-old School of Gladiators collapsed, taking with it some of the finest frescoes of the early Roman era, Italy's president Georgio Napolitano spoke of a "national disgrace", and Silvio Berlusconi, the priapic greaser then serving as prime minister, promised to make more money available for conservation.
All that has happened is that the level of neglect has worsened, and funds are scarcer than ever. London's forthcoming blockbuster Pompeii exhibition may not deliver the same emotional wallop as a visit to the actual site, but at least the British Museum's roof is unlikely to land on your head.
A Roman wall at Pompeii in southern Italy has collapsed, local archaeologists say, in the latest in a series of accidents at the ancient city buried by a volcanic explosion 2 000 years ago.
The section of wall some two metres (seven feet)long was part of the ruins of a house at the sprawling site near Naples. The area has seen heavy rain in recent weeks, and previous collapses have been linked to bad weather.
The local archaeological authority said in a statement that the announcement of a tender for the long-delayed conservation project was "imminent".
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