The superintendent of Pompeii Massimo Osanna has taken part to an interview made for an Italian newspaper, “La Repubblica”, giving some important information about future projects to improve the management and the fame of one of the most popular archeological site in the world. In addition to being the superintendent of Pompeii he is also an archaeologist and a professor to the Neapolitan University Federico II. After the bad news of the collapse of some domus that in the past have discredited the image of Pompeii, he wants to do better by starting to put the Vesuvian site as a focus point in some university projects.
Director, Where to start?
“A solid partnership with the university is critical. I want to work in harmony with the rector Gaetano Manfredi to create a graduate school that has its epicenter in Pompei, to give a strong education of the students”.
Do you already have an idea for the venue?
“The Polverificio Borbonico located in Scafati that is already owned by the superintendence of Pompei. We want it to become a visited storage place, with locals and laboratories: a museum which is currently lacking in Pompeii, the arrival point of a visit to the excavations, that will be connected to the site with a shuttle”.
How has it changed Pompeii?
“We made this question to thousands of visitors, through a questionnaire administered by a company located in Milan: we now know the approval rating, who are the tourists, where they come from ... surprising results are emerging, and are still being processed".
In your commitment you have always seen Pompeii as a place of tradition, but also a place of innovation ...
It is a key theme. There is much resistance even within the Superintendence to the transformations. Usually we tend to identify the past as the right and the transformation as the evil. I do not agree with this. Pompeii is a contemporary place, the image of Pompeii is transforming day by day, because every generation did it. I have taken the concept of the widespread museum display that was already proposed by Amedeo Maiuri, with the relocation in situ of the original artifacts found during the excavations. So, we are sending a strong message: something is a town of only ruins, which is perceived only like a ruin, and another thing is to open different roads and perspectives. So, Pompeii becomes more free and more human. Innovation means finding the key to read in a contemporary way a place which is the place of tradition for excellence, Pompeii. That’s why it is good the contemporary art: about that, I’m going to distress some closer relations with the museum of the contemporary art in Naples, the “Museo Madre”.
University, museum of contemporary art…Do you have already planned other collaborations?
“We can not ignore Capodimonte: we will do together an exhibition, "Pompeii and Picasso", scheduled on the 2017 for the centenary of the visit of the painter in Italy. With Paestum we will make an exhibition to combine pre-Roman and Roman painting”.
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It is possible Pompeii will soon be open in the evenings year round. In short, Pompeii can become the first major archaeological site where you can visit at night.
Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Heritage and cultural activities and tourism, outlines the strategy of Pompeii during his recent visit to the ruins to present the project of Coldiretti named "EatStory", that leads into the site agricultural products and dishes of the culinary tradition of the Campania region. Same food that although differently prepared, was already the food used in ancient Pompeii two thousand years ago. The visit was to Franceschini an opportunity to put the focus on how to enhance the cultural offering of Pompeii. The minister discussed with the director of the Superintendency, Massimo Osanna, and Luigi Curatoli, director of the Great Project.
"What is the margin of growth?" has been the main question, according to the data of October 31st that have already reached the figure of 2.9 million visitors. An increase of over 6%, which gives the certainty that 2016 will be the year in which Pompeii exceeds 3 million visitors (the forecast is more than 3.1 million).
In the project of the Ministry there are two key points to build a Pompeii able to get close to the numbers of the Roman Colosseum-Forum-Palatine circuit (6 million) and compete with other sites and museums outside Italy: the extension of visiting hours to the excavations thanks to the lighting of the entire site and the almost complete viability of the ancient city, and the announced reopening this year of regions IV, V, VI and IX, most of them closed since the earthquake happened in the 1980.
The hypothesis suggested provides extended opening hours until midnight from April to November, while in winter the closure could be brought forward to 8 pm. “So, in the evening, it concretely helps the territory, those who stay up late at night who can than sleep and eat nearby.", as Franceschini said.
The head of the Cultural Heritage dreams of a worldwide project, on which to start the search for patrons who, with the Art Bonus, will support the completion of the second parcel of the excavations lighting project. By December 23rd - says the director Hosanna - "Enel Sole will restore the illuminated path that already exists between Porta Marina, the Forum and the Theaters”. On the same day it will be presented also the video surveillance system, the perimeter lighting of the excavations and the Wi-Fi system, which will also help people using the app made under the plan of the Great Pompeii project.
Also Franceschini wants to make a rail hub that, with a high-speed train, can be connected in an hour and half Rome with Pompeii.
If all these things will be realized Pompeii can certainly grow and increase its flow of tourists in short time.
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It is not a mystery that Pompeii is one of the most fascinating and visited archaeological sites in the world thanks to its ancient and rich history. Those who walk on the streets of the ancient Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD live an exciting experience that soon could be seen from another perspective.
The archaeological site of Pompeii, after a long period of neglect and carelessness, reported in 2001 by the European Union and culminated in 2012 with a series of collapses, is finally under the attention of the Italian Government, which has intervened about the protection and preservation of the richest archaeological site in the world. In fact, with the Great Pompeii Project (approved in 2013) there have been allocated over 100 million euros for the rehabilitation of the site.
A director and a group of archaeologists, scholars and technicians have been appointed to deal with the serious problems facing the wide archaeological area. Work goes forward quickly in order to respect the indications of the funding program and to give the right image in Pompeii confirming its membership in the World Heritage.
In addition to the interventions on the archaeological remains, there are now a lot of events aimed at improving the reception in Pompeii, finally understanding that the tourism of the ruins has a significant economic impact. If Pompeii becomes more accessible, especially with an efficient public transport, the flow of visitors and their satisfaction increases. And, in terms of accessibility, it would also be useful to have a better overview of the excavation from the above, for example. It would be a big plus for a total use of the archaeological site, whereas today this vision is possible only from the slopes of Vesuvius, distant and not very adequate.
See, also from above, the domus of Pompeii, its theaters and amphitheaters will always be exciting and magical and it will also be an opportunity for the faithfuls to be able to see the Shrine of Pompeii from a different perspective. The idea would be to build a tower of about 150 meters high such as to allow the full perception of the area of the excavations. The tower should be located south of the ruins, where there was the sea before the lava. A transparent tower that through its elevated structures, steel pillars, lift and stairs, let's one see the imposing silhouette of the volcano.
This is a project made by Aldo Capasso, professor of Technology of Architecture at the University Federico II, located in Naples. The shape of the building should imitate, in the lower part dedicated to the reception, the same shape of the Mount Vesuvius, while the upper part of the panoramic platform would have the shape of an inverted cone given by eruptive launches.
Currently this is only an idea but, if it goes through, it will certainly be an additional strength for the archaeological site that can become more touristically attractive.
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The documentary film "The Treasure of the House of Menander - Chronicle of an archaeological discovery" was screened on the 27th of October in the Palace of the Dukes of Santo Stefano, in Taormina. This movie traces the history of one of the most important discoveries of silver (second only to the Boscoreale Treasure for weight and number of pieces) ever carried out in the Vesuvian archaeological sites. The work, which will be visible "entering" in virtual "numismatic portal" of the Italian Government in a few weeks, tells about the discovery of this treasure that consists of silverware, jewelry and coins. The excavations were directed by Amedeo Maiuri, the archaeologist who in almost half a century of investigations and excavations brought to light what is now possible to see at Herculaneum and Pompeii. To introduce the viewer into the house, belonged to the family of the Empress Poppea, third wife of Nero, there were Serafina Pennestrì and Antonio Varone, who edited the documentary film made by Poligrafico and Zecca dello Stato. Mr. Varone, archaeologist, director of excavations at Pompeii for a decade, tells how, between 1926 and 1932, the house was dug out and leads the viewer to discover the environments where it was found the case with silverware and joys. Serafina Pennestrì, head of numismatic portal of the Ministry of Culture, illustrated the fineness of silver, to tell of their importance and their "rescue", as well as coins and jewels found in a box hidden inside a chest. The treasure of the "Menander", so called from a fresco which reproduces the image of the poet Menander, is preserved at the Archaeological Museum of Naples and consists in 108 beautiful pieces (tableware, drinking and toiletries), many fine jewelry and a hoard of coins: 13 gold coins and 33 silver coins.
The movie was pre-viewed by the press, during the presentation of the "Conference of medals: The story that belongs to us". The workshop, which took place in Taormina and Syracuse, in Sicily, from Thursday the 27th to Saturday the 29th of October, told through very special testimony the coins, the history of Italy, of the municipalities, of the duchies, the lordships, the Middle Ages, until Greek and Roman period. The aim is to take stock of the ability to create a system and offer to the tourist enjoyment of the medals of Italy. The event, sponsored by the Directorate General Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the Ministry of Culture, is divided into a series of events intended both to the institutional sector and the public. "We aim to leave the museums activating the interest in protection of cultural heritage both in schools and young people - says Serafina Pannestrì – We also want to arouse curiosity: for the first time we showed a live minting of an ancient coin".
It is the "Tauromenion silver, a" coin of the third century BC that in Taormina, the ancient Tauromenion, was used as currency. An interesting window is the one that will open on the storefronts of the coins of the major Italian museums, available on-line on Numismatic Portal, where you can admire many specimens offered for public use. Among them, precisely the coins of the Archaeological Museum of Naples with its 150,000 specimens (fifteen thousand coins found in the ruins of Pompeii) that tell the monetary history of southern Italy from the sixth century BC to the Bourbons age.
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Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.