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Italy calls on private investors to help save Pompeii

Italy's new prime minister on Wednesday appealed to private investors to help restore the damaged ruins of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage landmark. "Italy is a country of culture and so I challenge businessmen. What are you waiting for?" Matteo Renzi told journalists when quizzed on the future of the ancient site, where several walls collapsed this weekend. "The ideological refusal to permit the private sector to intervene, as if only the public sector could guarantee the guardianship of heritage, must end," he said.

New York mayor becomes Christmas statuette in Naples

The newly-elected mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is now a figurine for Christmas Nativity scenes in Naples thanks to artisans in the homeland of the politician's Italian grandfather. The terracotta statuette shows the new mayor -- who has spoken proudly of his Italian heritage -- smiling and waving and wearing an Italian flag band like the one donned by mayors in Italy.

INSIGHT-Two Italies share pain as crisis bites

* Problems of struggling Mezzogiorno spread north * Thousands laid off as recession deepens * Election leaves main problems unaddressed By James Mackenzie and Giancarlo Navach ACERRA/BRESCIA, Italy, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Italy is nearing election day but you would have a hard time noticing it in Acerra, a scruffy industrial town just outside Naples, best known for housing one of the largest rubbish incinerators in Europe.
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