Building developments are threatening the important Punic necropolis of Tuvixeddu at Cagliari in Sardinia. Campaigners have responded by taking their case to the European Union, having failed to resolve the problem with the local authorities.
The Cagliari municipal authorities have issued permits allowing fifty six-storey blocks of flats to be built on the edge of the site. While the Cagliari council insists that the creation of an archaeological park and museum will take place alongside the building of housing, Maria Paola Morittu, of the heritage organisation Italia Nostra, said the building development would alter further an ancient landscape that had already suffered greatly.
Tuvixeddu contains thousands of Phoenician and Punic burial chambers dating from the 6th century BC. While the tombs have long been robbed of their contents, some contain original paintings including Ureo's Tomb, named after a sacred serpent, and The Warrior's Tomb, depicting a warrior throwing a spear. Tuvixeddu is one of the most important Phoenician-Punic sites in the world.
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