From ANSA:

A model of an Etruscan temple is to tour Italy to drum up funds for the excavation of what experts call one of the country's most exciting recent finds .

The temple to the fertility goddess Demeter was unearthed by chance a few months ago .

Since then the council in this town near Viterbo has been thinking of ways to dig up the cash for a complete examination of the site .

"We can't wait to get down there," said Vetralla's cultural heritage councillor, Maurizio Sensi .

"Experts have said we're onto something big but we've been stymied by a chronic lack of funds" .

"To show people what they're missing, we've decided to make a reconstruction of the temple and take it on tour, hoping somebody - maybe some big private sponsor - will come forward with the money" .

Archaeologists believe the temple could be one of the best-preserved ever found from the late Etruscan era in a area famous for its Etruscan treasures .

"It's virtually intact. The earth poured over it - probably in Roman times - has kept it sealed up in pristine state for more than 20 centuries" .

The artefacts discovered in the temple - many of them representing male and female genitals - have been taken to Rome's famed Etruscan museum at Valle Giulia .

But Vetralla is determined to get them back, Sensi said .

The suggestive sculptures will accompany the temple around the country once local authorities receive permission to have them loaned back, he said .

"They'll probably be our trump card in our bid to muster support for the project," Sensi said .