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Italy tries to spare ancient Pompeii from ruin

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August 2, 2013 04:00 PM EST | AP


ROME — Italy's government is trying to spare the ancient ruins of Pompeii from further neglect.

Premier Enrico Letta told reporters that his Cabinet on Friday approved the appointment of a special superintendent to ensure that millions of euros in government and European Union funds for maintenance and restoration of the archaeological marvel and tourist site are properly spent.

Several collapses of structures on the site have stepped up concern about Pompeii's future. In 2010, a frescoed building where gladiators prepared for battle crumbled into a pile of fragments.

Prosecutors also have been inspecting restoration work to make sure local organized crime groups were not involved with it.

Letta said `'culture is the heart of our country" and deserves more care.