Should Pompeii Become a Theme Park?

The Cit of Pompeii is perhaps the most famous and well visited archaeological site in the world. Due to exposure, climate, and, most of all, tourism foot-traffic, the remains of Pompeii are often on the radar due to degradation and damage that the site has experienced – most recently the collapse of several walls and buildings that resulted in the damage to several important regions of the site.

How to address the issue of Pompeii is a large and problematic one. As a major tourist attraction in Italy, it is a large revenue base. Severe cut-backs and revenue problems in Italy mean that funding for conservation habits is always problematic.

Today on the BBC, scholars argue whether or not the site should be closed or if it should just become a full-on tourist attraction/theme park. Will that solve its revenue problems? Check out the podcast here.

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About Jennifer Carey

My name is Jennifer Carey and I am a student and educator of the human condition. I have long studied history, trained in archaeology, and found a passion in the field of education. As a long-time lover of technology (my father bought our family our first Apple IIe when I was three), I love technology and what it can bring to the classroom. I have taught at various Universities for many years as well as educating gifted teenagers through the Johns Hopkins program, the Center for Talented Youth. I am currently the Director of Educational Technology at the Ransom Everglades School (a secular independent school) in Miami, Fl. I also have a few educational podcasts on iTunes from my days teaching at TCU: The Ancient City of Rome, Classical Archaeology (2008), Classical Archaeology (2009), Introduction to Classical Myth, and Ancient Eats. They’re enhanced (so you get the PowerPoints along with the vocal), but please excuse the poor audio editing. Feel free to Email Me or follow me on twitter.
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6 Responses to Should Pompeii Become a Theme Park?

  1. Mike Franklin says:

    We’re a tactile species. We love to touch and handle things, especially items of great antiquity. From it we gain a sense of connectivity… of being there. Such is the case in the Holy Lands where pilgrims journey to walk the streets that Christ did two thousand years ago.

    There really is an incredible feeling of oneness to be achieved with this kind of joining.

    Pompeii is no different. We know the story of what happened there. We see those casts that were taken from the hollows where someone died in those terrible moments. Every street, every wall, every column is a portal for the human spirit to adventure.

    To merely look upon these places and things would leave us that final step short of completing our personal journey into the mists of human heritage.

    I guess that, in the end, it comes down to whether there is a point in saving something for the species that the species can’t also realize to the fullest potential.

    Perhaps rather than opening the whole site to full public contact, create sections of preservation to be looked at and then also some that can be experienced in the up-close and personal. In this way, both needs can be achieved.

  2. I should be quite sad to see it turned into an amusement park. I’m even more sad that there is not designated funding earmarked for historical sites.

  3. Is it not cost effective to rebury the artifacts?

    • Jennifer Lockett says:

      It is, but it would also irradiate tourism in the area (#1 economic industry) and the public/political outcry would be overwhelming. Pompeii accounts for almost all of the tourism in Southern Italy.

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