After a two year restoration, and three month closure for work on its paving, Pompeii’s biggest house, the Villa dei Misteri (Villa of Mysteries), re-opened on Friday 20th March.

During the grand re-opening, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said “Today is an important day: we give back to the world the splendour, the wonders of the Villa dei Misteri.  If you ask me “have we resolved everything at Pompeii?” I will answer no.  If you ask me at Pompeii “are you resolving things?” I will answer yes.”  He continued, “We have behind us a year of important, extraordinary work.”  “At Pompeii three work sites have concluded, while another 13 have opened and nine contracts have been started.  This year 85 people have been hired in various positions, visitors rose by 200,000, there are cultural initiatives in the year of the Expo (Milan world’s fair), which regard Pompeii, be it here or in other Italian cities.  Shortly, to avoid thefts, a new CCTV system will be activated.”

The restoration work, financed by ordinary funds of the Superintendency, started in May 2013.  The works involved the more than 70 areas that make up the Villa, with particular attention being paid to the decorations that cover the walls and floors, and have exceptional characteristics, whether it’s for the vastness of the Villa or for the significance it has as a symbol of the ancient city.

Over the course of the years, starting from the excavations in the 1930s, the paintings and floors of the Villa dei Misteri (Villa of Mysteries) have frequently been the object of works of “micro-restoration” and maintenance, carried out according to the then correct and highly effective criteria, but which in time have revealed problematic outcomes, such as the use of wax on the walls, which has protected them, but at the same time darkened them.