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Travel

Italy -Pompeii entrance temporarily closed

An entrance to Pompeii and access to some of its sites has been closed after a piece of stone fell from a support column in an ancient house.

Pompeii officials say access to the Romulus and Remus house has been temporarily suspended and that the Porta Marina entrance has been closed as a precaution. Visitors to the bay of Naples are being allowed to enter the 66 hectar (163 acres) archeological site through another gate.

This is the latest collapse to plague the popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pompeii, long associated with neglect and building collapses, has benefited from a 105 million euro (115 million US dollar) grant from the European Union which is helping to improve the situation, albeit at a slower pace than planned. Currently the restoration work on the site is scheduled to be completed by 2017. The once prosperous Roman city was destroyed after an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD which killed thousands of people. The ruins have survived to this day after being covered for centuries by thick layers of volcanic ash.

at/ks (dpa)