The overall aim of the Herculaneum Conservation Project is to support the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei, to safeguard and conserve, to enhance, and to advance the knowledge, understanding and public appreciation of the ancient site of Herculaneum and its artefacts.
The main objectives of the conservation programme are:
- to slow down the rate of decay across the entire site so that it can be maintained in future on a sustainable basis;
- to test and implement long-term conservation strategies that are appropriate for Herculaneum and potentially applicable to other, similar sites;
- to provide a basis of knowledge and documentation of Herculaneum so as to facilitate its future management;
- to acquire new archaeological knowledge about Herculaneum derived as an integral element of the activities devoted to its preservation;
- to conserve, document, publish and improve access to the artefacts found in excavations at Herculaneum;
- to promote greater knowledge of and discussion about Herculaneum among the scientific community, the local population and the general public.
Initially these objectives were pursued in the context of a site-wide conservation programme, while more recently other initiatives have focused on having wider impacts, to support long-term sustainable management, involve the local community and encourage enhancement initiatives that support conservation objectives. For further information, see the section on the ‘Big Picture’.