The recent collapse of the House of Gladiators in Pompeii has once again put into focus the upkeep of many ancient monuments throughout Italy, not only in Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

For years archaeologists have complained that an effective, continuous maintenance programme has not been in place in Pompeii, and in 2008 the Italian government declared a year-long state of emergency. Today the government faces calls for the UNESCO world heritage site to be removed from state control and managed privately, perhaps funded by a corporate sponsor. As one of Italy's most popular tourist sites, Pompeii attracts about 2.5 million visitors every year.

In Rome many monuments are also in need of maintenance and authorities are seeking investors to sponsor some of the city