Threatened mosaics could be reburied
of the world's most important archaeological sites could be re-buried
under tons of dirt if the funds are not found to save it.
Backers of Brading Roman Villa, on the Isle of Wight, need to raise
more than £500,000 before Lottery chiefs will hand over a
The money is needed to replace a 100-year-old metal roof covering
the site's 4th Century mosaics.
If the money cannot be found, the mosaics will have to be reburied
for their protection.
So far fundraisers have put together less than half the amount
'No other option'
A spokesman for Oglander Roman Trust, which sees 26,000 people
visit the site each year, said: "If we fail in our task the
mosaics must be covered with earth and the site and its Roman scenes
will be removed from public view.
"We are advised by our conservation specialists that the need
for long term preservation leaves our community with no other option."
The site has been listed by the World Monument Fund as one of the
world's 100 most endangered sites.
Its metal cover building is rusting and has reached the end of
Structural engineers say its safety will soon be compromised.
Meanwhile, flood waters have already inflicted serious damage to
the villa's mosaics.
The villa and its mosaics were rediscovered by Captain John Thorp,
a former soldier in the British Army in India, in 1880.
This item appeared on the BBC's news website www.bbc.co.uk/news
The Trustees of Brading Roman Villa need to raise £500,000
in matching funds in order to secure a lottery grant to help preserve
treasures that the World Monument Fund have called"One of the
World's Most Endangered Sites". It is a daunting task for anyone
in the UK let alone the small community on the Isle of Wight. Can
Visit the Brading site at http://www.bradingromanvilla.org.uk/