Naples

Finance police probe previous Pompeii restoration work

Investigations into ex-special commissioner for excavations

Finance police probe previous Pompeii restoration work

Naples, February 5 - Police are investigating the former special commissioner for excavations as part of a larger probe into an eight-million euro restoration project at the Pompeii archaeological site. Marcello Fiori is under investigation for abuse of office, and goods valued at about 810,000 euros were seized as part of the investigation, according to the prosecutor in the southern city of Torre Annunziata. A legal representative of the Caccavo Srl contracting company is under house arrest and several engineers have been sanctioned, according to reports. This follows an investigation into contracts tendered and work performed at the UNESCO world heritage site after a state of emergency was declared there. Authorities allege that contracts were rigged and granted to companies without the required specifications. Possible criminal charges range from corruption, abuse of office, public-contract fraud and fraud against the state. There was no word on whether this will affect this week's commencement of a larger Grande Progetto Pompei or Great Pompeii Project designed to secure and improve access to the ruins of Pompeii. The project has more than 100-million euros in financial backing from the European Commission, as well as the Italian government.

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