The LA Times reports on the deterioration of the ruins of ancient Rome (HT: Explorator). Among the recent problems:

  • A 35-foot wall on the Palatine Hill, where Roman emperors built their lavish villas, collapsed. Fortunately, it fell in the middle of the night and not during the day, when it probably would have crushed tourists.
  • Parts of the Colosseum, ancient Rome’s enormous amphitheater, periodically close because of flooding caused by rain. Signs warn visitors to take cover if high winds kick up.
  • The breathtaking Golden Palace of Nero, opened to the public with great fanfare a few years ago, was shut down when authorities decided they could no longer guarantee visitors’ safety.

The problem is that Rome is a living city and the appropriate investment in maintaining the monuments is not being made.