In 79 AD a volcanic eruption engulfed Pompeii. Now, it is bureucratic infighting and finger pointing that have engulfed the site, crippleing any coherent response to the problems of preserving the site for future generations.
The Art Newspaper has another report about the inept bureaucratic response to the collapse of the House of the Gladiators at Pompeii. See
The State Department Cultural Heritage Center, the AIA and the Italian cultural bureaucracy may be still celebrating yet another extension of the MOU with Italy and its expansion to include coins, but the realities on the ground suggest that Italy's real problem is its own cultural bureaucrats and politicians.
One really needs to ask whether the moral support our State Department provides through such MOU's does anything other than to help prop up an utterly rotten system at the expense of American collectors, dealers and museums.