POMPEII, ITALY - 4 APRIL 2013: A guide introduces tourists to the forum, the city's main square, dating the 2nd century BC, in Pompeii, Italy, on April 4th, 2013. Located at the intersection between the two main streets of the original urban center, the Forum was the city's main square, surrounded on all sides by religious, political, and business buildings.
In recent years, a series of collapses at the site have alarmed conservationists, who warn that the ancient Roman city is dangerously exposed to the elements ? and poorly served by the red tape, lack of strategic planning and limited personnel of the site's historically troubled management.
Pompeii, along with Herculaneum, was buried under 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. After its initial discovery in 1599, Pompeii was rediscovered as the result of intentional excavations in 1748 by the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.
Pompeii is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year.
Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
- ©2013 Gianni Cipriano / The New York Times
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