Italy's historical sites under danger of collapse
ROME - After a Spanish tourist was killed by a piece of fallen masonry at the Holy Cross Basilica in Florence on Thursday, reports have emerged of other attractions which are at risk of landslides or flooding. La Stampa reports that almost 80,000 Italian cultural sites are in danger of falling down, with more than 3,000 situated in Rome. In practice, it appears that over half of celebrated Roman monuments and buildings are at risk.
Reports issued last year reveal that 2,140 of these Roman sites have been exposed to hydraulic action for 500 years. On top of this, the historical centre of Rome is home to many of these sites, including Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, and the Pantheon, which welcome millions of tourists each year. The areas highlighted as dangerous are not just contained within the city walls: 1,300 attractions in Florence have been flagged up as risky, including the National Library, and the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower.
Furthermore, the cost of removing water infiltration from these attractions could be vast: Pompeii has been given 3 million euros to work with to remove the water from the historical area, and so it can be assumed that protecting these buildings from collapse in the centre of Rome could be expensive indeed.