It was announced today that Silvio Berlusconi’s “point person” for dealing with the Naples and Campania trash problem, Guido Bertolaso, has now been appointed be the “protector” or “overseer” of Rome archaeological treasures, which have suffered greatly this past year because of increased rainfall in the region as well as years of neglect by the government.
Bertolaso will assume responisbility over the Roman Forum, the ancient ruins at Ostia Antica, the Colosseum and the Palatine among other sites.
Archaeologists and historians are hoping that his appointment will push through needed reforms, renovations and other projects needed to restore and protect these monuments as well as work to re-open many sites that have been closed because they’ve become a danger to the public. Seeing as many of Rome’s monuments attract millions of visitors each year, it’s no wonder that the city of Rome has appointed Mr. Bertolaso in this most important position. He will also be given a budget of about $48 million dollars to push through needed changes. Bertolaso’s appointment seems to be one that has placated both sides of the political spectrum which will only make matters easier in his appointment (fingers crossed).
Let’s hope that Mr. Bertolaso can help cut some of the “red tape” that has kept many of these historical jewels from being fully enjoyed as well as put measures in place to make sure that they remain standing for years to come.
Two useful stories:
photo: Ostia Antica, June 2004