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As Pompeii crumbles, Italy OKs urgent repairs

Italy Pompei2.jpg

Bricks and rocks are seen on the ground after a section of wall around an ancient shop collapsed in Pompeii as a consequence of a rainstorm, Monday, March 3, 2014. (AP)

Citing "utmost urgency," Italy has approved work to repair walls in ancient Pompeii that collapsed after heavy rains, and authorized spending $2.7 million on routine maintenance.

The decisions were made Tuesday in Rome after a hastily convened meeting of the culture minister with archaeological experts. On Sunday, stones from an arch and a stretch of wall collapsed in the popular tourist site. On Monday, a wall of an ancient shop collapsed.

Similar collapses in recent years have prompted an infusion of funds, but only a fraction of the $145 million earmarked for the "Great Pompeii" rehabilitation project has been spent. Bureaucracy is blamed in part.

Italy's culture ministry said Tuesday priority will also be given to work to reduce flood risk in unexcavated areas.