Thieves steal part of a wall painting showing Apollo and Artemis from a building in Pompeii in mid March.

Thieves steal part of a wall painting showing Apollo and Artemis from a building in Pompeii in mid March. This loss is the latest in a string of conservation and preservation difficulties the open-air museum faces. Last July, UNESCO gave the Italians until the end of the year to institute a series of reforms or risk losing World Heritage status.

Wall painting showing the goddess Artemis and her twin brother Apollo after and before removal by thieves.

A custodian stands in front of the Modesto way, where thieves cut out part of a wall painting. Photograph: Carlo Hermann/AFP/Getty Images

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