Restoration of gladiator house at Pompeii becomes emblem of site’s renaissance after years of neglect


The wine, oil and garum, which came from Crete, Spain and North Africa, would have been served at official occasions.

The building’s damaged frescoes have been meticulously restored and it will now be open to the public every Thursday.

“From the metaphor of the Italian inability to take care of a precious place which belongs to all humanity, the reopening of the Schola Armaturarum represents a symbol of redemption for Pompeii,” Prof Osanna, the director general of the ancient site, said.

The collapse of the building in 2010 had led to “a chorus of international indignation” but the successful restoration project was “a sign of hope for the future of our cultural heritage”, he said.

Despite being discovered back in the 18th century, a third of Pompeii still remains unexcavated.

“Money, and more rigorous oversight,” was the key to the rebirth of Pompeii, according to Italy’s culture minister, Alberto Bonisoli, speaking in Rome this week.

A management culture of taking “shortcuts” had finally been brought to an end, he said.

Visitor numbers are up, too – from 2.5 million, four years ago, to an expected 3.6 million this year.

The discoveries at Pompeii have come thick and fast in the last few months, as archeologists conduct the most extensive digs since the 1950s.



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