Italy's government moved Friday to help combat damage to the buried ancient city of Pompeii, which has been damaged by decay and inadequate management, officials said.

The government granted Pompeii emergency status, a move that will allow authorities to appoint a special commissioner to oversee the site's preservation and management, Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said.

The emergency status generally allows the government to more easily channel funds to the affected site. But it was not immediately clear if this would be the case for Pompeii, which will remain open to visitors.

Pietro Guzzo, Pompeii's archaeological superintendent, said in a statement that the "decay and careless management" cited by the ministry were the result of problems ranging from lack of services for visitors to reduced staff at the site.

Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed thousands of people and buried the city in 20 feet of volcanic ash. The ash preserved it for 1,600 years and provided precious information about what life was like in the ancient world.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that parts of the complex are crumbling or undergoing endless restorations.