ITALY NEWS

Rome's ruins at risk

(issue no. 120/2010 / April 8, 2010)

Culture minister Sandro Bondi said he was ‘very worried' about the condition of the Roman Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea in Rome, following the collapse of part of the structure's ceiling in late March. Bondi's words were echoed by major political figures and archaeology experts in Rome and in Italy, and scholars noted that most buildings in Rome's Palatine Hill are at high risk for similar structural damage. The main culprit is erosion and flooding. ‘The real emergency is on the Palatine,' said commissioner of the Domus Aurea, Antonello Vodret. ‘There are some 150 houses that have not been protected against water,' he added. Palatine Hill is where the city of Rome was born and where its emperors later built their residences. Today, it draws millions of visitors a year.

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