Fascinating article from Time magazine regarding the effects of austerity on the preservation of ancient Roman ruins:
While it seems obvious that one would want to preserve ancient historical ruins to the best of one’s (or one’s nation’s) ability, the fact of the matter is that preserving ancient historical items requires money and, in these times of austerity and economic slow down, using government funds to preserve ancient ruins becomes a tricky issue. Particularly if your country, Italy, happens to be filled with ancient -and who knows how many yet to be discovered!- ancient ruins.
Here in South Florida, the closest we have to “ancient” material worth preserving are homes and buildings from the early 20th Century. Hardly “old” considering the material discussed in Italy. However, what little we have here does have its charm and specific architectural characteristics. But most of the buildings deemed “historic” are still in use and most often taken care of by the buildings’ owners. Over time, many others have been bulldozed away and exist only in old photographs and memories.
So I feel for Italy. This is a country that is rich in history and marvelous ancient structures. It’s a pity that the reality of modern economic times forces tough decisions regarding the proper care of said items.