Pompeii Restoration Culminates with €78 Million Investment from EU Cohesion Policy Funds

The decade-long “Grande Progetto Pompei” initiative, aimed at revitalizing the iconic Pompeii archaeological site, concludes successfully, thanks to a €78 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project, spanning ten years, resulted in the restoration of 70 buildings and the enhancement of more than 40 hectares of the site. Notably, the renewed Pompeii is now accessible to individuals with reduced mobility, featuring a dedicated 4km itinerary.

The substantial investment, totaling €105 million, has fortified the structures against adverse weather conditions that had previously caused collapses. A comprehensive effort removed around 30,000 tonnes of material, unveiling almost 1,200 artifacts and 170 packages containing new objects and plaster fragments.

The revitalization has not only preserved a global cultural landmark but has also driven economic development. Visitor numbers surged from 2.3 million in 2012 to over 4 million in 2019, showcasing the project’s impact. The increased tourism has translated into a 40% rise in hotel occupancy and a 20% boost in restaurant turnover in the surrounding areas compared to 2013.

Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides a unique snapshot of Roman life frozen in time due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The restoration project, initiated in 2012 after collapses in 2010, addressed the dire need for maintenance. At that time, only 5 out of the 60 domus were accessible to visitors. The project, consisting of 76 measures across two phases, received EU funding of €40 million (2007-2013) and €65 million (2014-2020).

As part of the broader 2014-2020 programming period, Cohesion Policy invested over €939 million in Italy to preserve its cultural heritage and allocated over €4 billion for this purpose across the entire EU.