Naples

Tomato plant springs up in ancient Roman home in Pompeii

Sparks ire of cultural heritage watchdog

Tomato plant springs up in ancient Roman home in Pompeii

Naples, July 11 - A cultural watchdog on Thursday expressed indignation over a tomato plant that flourished in the ruin of an ancient Roman home at the Pompei archeological site south of Naples. ''It is unacceptable and intolerable that a tomato plant could sprout and grow in a Pompeian domus,'' said Antonio Irlando, president of the Cultural Heritage Observatory, which circulated a photo of a Japanese tourist next to a tomato plant that had sprung up in one of the ruins. ''I don't want to comment upon the amazement of this visitor,'' said Irlando, referring to the photo to be published in the southern newspaper Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno. ''But surely weeds growing in one of the world's most beautiful archeological sites is not a pretty image,'' Irlando added. Irlando called for reinforcing small maintenance efforts in Pompeii's streets and buildings in addition to large scale renovation and improved valorization of the ruins.

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