Rescuing the mosaics of Piazza Armerina

The mosaics of Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina are widely recognised as some of the best examples of Roman-era mosaics in existence. They are of excellent quality both because of the mastery of the artists who created them and because they have survived the test of time. A flood in the 12th century buried them with mud and they were only rediscovered in the late 19th century.

Right now the whole archaeological site is facing one of its biggest challenges since its rediscovery because of years of under-investment in its upkeep. The situation reached truly critical levels with the mayor having to respond to the increasingly louder protests of the locals which wanted this unique heritage preserved and visitors having to help to get rid of the trash!

Luckily something is finally being done. Vittorio Sgarbi, a well known art critic and one time controversial politician is stepping in with his considerable influence to get things moving quicker. Already some of the areas have been cleaned up and are in a much better state and a plan is being set-up for the long-term maintenance of the site. It is very sad that it ever had to reach this point, and that a `name' has to step in before something happens but at least something is happening and the mosaics of Piazza Armerina will hopefully be there for many future generations to enjoy.

Fighting to save the mosaics

Written on
September 2, 2004
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