ROME – Tourists in ancient Pompeii have freshly-restored marvels to admire, including a merchant’s luxuriously decorated home and a more modest middle-class dwelling.
A business where Pompeii residents brought fabrics to be cared for and a structure with thermal bathing areas are also among the six buildings opened to the public Thursday.
Pompeii in recent years has been plagued by labor disputes that locked out tourists and the collapse of some ruins, with funding chronically short for maintenance.
But Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expressed optimism at the unveiling of restored ruins in the city destroyed in 79 by a volcanic eruption.
“We made news with the collapses, now we are making news with restoration,” he said.
Some heritage officials said much can be learned from the new displays.
“These are houses of extraordinary importance, because they show a very original and particular cross section of life during ancient Pompeii,” said Antonio Irlando, President of Cultural Heritage Observer.
Well-preserved mosaic tiles and vividly-hued frescoes are in the restored sites in the sprawling ruins near Naples.