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Ancient Roman pillar collapses at Pompeii villa

Breitbart.com 12/23/2011 19:40
Ancient Roman pillar collapses at Pompeii villa - Italy - culture - Europe

A pillar was found collapsed at an ancient Roman villa in Pompeii on Thursday, as the government prepares a series of measures to preserve the unique but dilapidated archaeological area.

Police were called in to carry out checks at the picturesque Loreius Tiburtinus villa from the 2nd century BC after the collapse of a pillar supporting one of the pergolas there was noticed by local technical staff.

The villa has a large garden with pergolas and ponds, following a fashion of creating country-like residences in an urban environment.

The pillar was 2.4 metres (7.9 feet) high and may have been toppled by the heavy rain and winds that have lashed Naples in recent days.

Prime Minister Mario Monti's government announced this month that it will increase staff and funding for restoration at the site.

Two collapses at the site last year triggered a storm of criticism against then premier Silvio Berlusconi's government.