New blow for Pompeii as wall collapses after rain

Frances d'Emilio
Wednesday 01 December 2010 01:00

A stretch of garden wall ringing an ancient house in Pompeii gave way yesterday after days of torrential rain, the latest structure to collapse at the popular archaeological site.

Pompeii officials said an inspection found that a 40-foot-long section of wall forming part of the perimeter of a garden near the House of the Moralist gave way in several points. They said the extreme sogginess of the soil brought down the wall.

Italy is struggling to preserve its immense archaeological wealth for future generations. A few weeks ago, Italy was embarrassed when a frescoed house, the Schola Armaturarum, where gladiators prepared for combat, was reduced to a pile of stones and dust in seconds. Less than a year ago, another building, the House of the Chaste Lovers, collapsed in Pompeii.

The House of the Moralist was not affected by the wall's demise and is not at risk of collapse, said Antonio Varone, the Pompeii excavations director.

The Schola and the House of the Moralist are only a few steps away from each other along one of Pompeii's main streets,where three million tourists traipse each year.

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