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Politicians enlist unlikely allies to save history


 

While Europe grapples with financial crisis, it is also fighting to preserve its history.

“The region is facing cultural calamity,” the Washington Post reports in a feature that considers the unusual measures being enlisted to fight the battle.

Among the examples, listed by reporter Ariana Eunjung Cha:

  • The Palazzo Manfrin in Venice is up for sale.
  • The caretakers of Versailles have agreed to let two hotels open on the palace grounds.
  • City planners in Seville have okayed the construction of an office tower near the cathedral where Christopher Columbus is buried.
  • The government in Greece has voted to allow paying cinematographers access to the Parthenon, the Poseidon Temple and Delphi.

Writes Cha:

Government officials acknowledge that some of the deals they are striking are not ideal. But the officials are in a race against time. … No one wants to have another Pompeii, where in October a portion of the wall surrounding the ancient city — frozen in time since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the 1st century — collapsed in front of crowds of tourists after it was weakened by water damage and climbing ivy.


 
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