ROME – Poor Pompeii.
Collapses of some of the ruins in the ancient city near Naples have plagued the popular tourist site for the last several years. Now finance investigators say they suspect perhaps millions of euros were improperly spent by officials who were supposed to save Pompeii from further deterioration.
Naples-based finance police seized, as a precautionary measure, nearly 5.8 million euros ($6.4 million) in assets from a former official tasked with rescuing Pompeii. Nine other officials were also requested to explain spending decisions.
The seizure followed a probe by prosecutors from a court monitoring public spending.
Investigators suspect there were "exorbitant" expenditures in 2010 for a show at Pompeii's Great Theater. They contend public bidding wasn't held, and the spending went beyond the officials' mandate.