Italy set to splash out a billion euros on dozens of landmarks in 'the biggest operation on cultural heritage in the history of the republic'

  • In total 33 sites will receive government funds, including the ancient city of Pompeii which will receive €40million
  • One of the biggest amounts is set to go to an 18th century prison on the tiny Tyrrhenian Sea island of Santo Stefano
  • It was announced that the historic centre of L'Aquila, destroyed by an earthquake in 2009, will be given €30million

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii,an island jail built by the Bourbons and the home ofBotticelli's Venus are among dozens of cultural sites due toshare in a €1billion (£790million) cash injection,Italy's culture ministry said on Monday.

Caring for centuries worth of art and architecture hascaused headaches for successive Italian governments as economicstagnation squeezed funding for the arts and restorationprojects were dogged by bureaucracy and bad management.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the 33 projectsconstituted 'the biggest operation on our cultural heritage inthe history of the republic', referring to the period since a1946 referendum sent Italy's royal family into exile.

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In total 33 sites will share in the billion euro government funds, including the ancient city of Pompeii which is to receive €40million (£31million)

In total 33 sites will share in the billion euro government funds, including the ancient city of Pompeii which is to receive €40million (£31million)

Other projects include completing restoration at the Palace of Caserta, near Naples. The large Bourbon palace, which was originally constructed to rival Versailles, has also been allocated €40million (£31million)

Other projects include completing restoration at the Palace of Caserta, near Naples. The large Bourbon palace, which was originally constructed to rival Versailles, has also been allocated €40million (£31million)

One of the biggest windfalls is due to go to an 18th centuryprison on the tiny Tyrrhenian Sea island of Santo Stefano, whichwas closed in the 1960s and has been slowly decaying ever since.

The ministry said in a statement the prison, whose cellswere built in a horseshoe shape around a watchtower to makeprisoners feel they were always being watched, would receive €70million (£55million) for restoration and development.

In the past, political opponents were banished to the island under the Fascist regime, including Sandro Pertini, who later became president of Italy. 

Pompeii, where work to secure a city preserved under volcanic ash for more than 1600 years was long delayed by corruption and mismanagement, will get €40million (£31million).

One of the biggest windfalls is due to go to an 18th century prison on the tiny Tyrrhenian Sea island of Santo Stefano, which was closed in the 1960s and has been slowly decaying ever since

One of the biggest windfalls is due to go to an 18th century prison on the tiny Tyrrhenian Sea island of Santo Stefano, which was closed in the 1960s and has been slowly decaying ever since

The ministry said in a statement the prison, whose cells were built in a horseshoe shape around a watchtower to make prisoners feel they were always being watched, would receive €70million (£55million) for restoration and development

The ministry said in a statement the prison, whose cells were built in a horseshoe shape around a watchtower to make prisoners feel they were always being watched, would receive €70million (£55million) for restoration and development

A further €40million (£31million) will go to works on the Uffizimuseums in Florence, home to masterpieces by Sandro Botticelliand Caravaggio. The historic centre of L'Aquila, destroyed by anearthquake in 2009, will get €30million (£23million).

The 29 other projects include extending the Pinacoteca diBrera gallery in Milan, finishing an auditorium in Florence and completing restoration at the Palace of Caserta, near Naples.  

The large Bourbon palace, which was originally constructed to rival Versailles, is set to receive around €40million (£31million).

 

 

 

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