All this while Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti said "you can't eat culture" as he cut funds for the culture ministry. I think anyone who has experienced the delights of Porchetta might seriously disagree with that assertion. That dish was mentioned by Roman writers as early as 400 BCE.
Sylvia Poggioli reports that:
Budget cuts led to a drastic drop in the number of guards, so it's easy to sneak into the houses and get a glimpse of ancient frescoed walls that are exposed to the elements. Made with humble local stone, these homes were not built to last 2,000 years — all the more need for routine maintenance.
These objects are part of Italy's cultural heritage, but they are part of our heritage as well. I'm frustrated that the best the Berlusconi government seems able to do is to use Disney as a model for the care and protections of these sites, as Luigi Necco puts it "Why this Disneyland here in the center of Pompeii . . . the center of a human tragedy of 2,000 years ago?"
- Sylvia Poggioli, A Collapse In Pompeii Highlights Neglect In Italy NPR, http://www.npr.org/2010/12/02/131581852/a-collapse-in-pompeii-highlights-neglect-in-italy (last visited Dec 2, 2010).