The first phase of a UNESCO expert mission to the World Heritage site of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Italy) was completed on 4 December. The mission followed the collapse of the Schola Armaturarum on 6 November and the further collapse of three more structures on the property.
The mission comprised experts on Roman wall paintings, antique architecture and mural techniques from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), one of the advisory bodies to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. Their work over the three day visit (2-4 December) to the site focused on the identification of potential threats and technical issues regarding the conservation of frescoes and wall structures, as well as the impact of the recent collapses on the characteristics that make the property of outstanding universal value.
The second phase of the mission, for which a date has to be confirmed, will be led by overall team leader Christopher Young, an expert on conservation of historic environments. This phase will concentrate on the management and governance of the site. Together with relevant authorities, local institutions, organizations and other stakeholders, the mission team will review the conservation strategies and policies in place to protect the property and its environment, as well as how they are being implemented and how they can be improved.
A report on the mission’s findings will be presented to the next session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (Bahrain, June 2011).