Conservation in the Shadow of Vesuvius: a Review of Best Practices/ Conservazione all’ombra del Vesuvio: un esame delle migliori pratiche
Following the efforts of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and World Monuments Fund to preserve and present Insula V2 at Pompeii, these organizations hosted a conference with the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei in 2003. The fifty archaeologists, architects, conservators, foundation administrators, and heritage conservationists participated in the conference with the goal of identifying the best practices of conserving the site and using them to formulate a series of principles to guide future conservation efforts.
Over 10,000 visitors come to Pompeii on an average day, concentrating the bulk of their tour on a few streets and houses, placing tremendous stress on a relatively small portion of an immense archaeological site. Meanwhile, the vast majority of excavated insulae has been virtually abandoned and suffers from a slower decline due to neglect. The conference attendees recognized progress in addressing such issues, particularly in the form of the publication of the site management plan, Un Piano per Pompei, and the establishment of a site planning office. However, they remained concerned that without steps such as reforming the Italian public works law as it pertains to cultural property, it would be difficult to properly maintain the portion of the site that has already been excavated, let alone accommodate future excavations. According to conference participants, future management decisions at Pompeii will ideally be based on the philosophy that conservation of the site is more important than the interests of tourist and commercial development.