Fighting for Italy’s heritage

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Who will police the saviours?

The Resurrection by Pierro della Francesca which is said to need restoration work. as does a lot of Italy’s heritage

In The Independent on Sunday this weekend, Nick Clark, wrote a story about the Italian village of Sansepolcro and the decay of a picture called The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca.

Clark noted that funding for arts organisations and preservation has been slashed so increasingly, philanthropists and private individuals are stepping into the breach.

What prompted my interest was an online comment below the main story submitted someone calling themselves  “giorama1971.”

This person alleged that private financiers were discouraged when faced with the “bureaucratic, corrupt, overfed political world,” suggesting that this person may have some experience of dealing with these bureaucrats.

The person goes on to claim that preserving Italy’s heritage is “the problem is that there is not an agenda, no planning at all unfortunately also in tourism organization (as tourism professional I can have my word),…” and  “what is happening to the artistic historic heritage of Italy is just a natural consequence of a system that need to change and does not have the force to do it…so far..”

Coming from a tourism professional, this is an accusation that must make many Italians and visitors weep for the future. It isn’t that long ago that the Mayor and Venice and many local officials stepped down and so were gaoled for corrupt practices in a contract involving flood barriers to preserve the city. The suspicion that incompetence is more widespread is damming but was it ever different? Forty years ago I saw pieces of monuments daubed with graffiti and left unattended so they could be removed. Money destined for reconstruction was channelled elsewhere. A few years ago there was even talk of advertising being sold on some buildings in order to raise money.

Giorama1971 would seem to be highlighting a systemic fault in the way Italian administration, its tourism and heritage is run. Incidentally, since this comment, no other comment has been added to the story and that also means that no-one in Italian tourism or involved in Italy’s cultural heritage has responded den ying these accusations.

If giorama1971 is correct, can the preservation of Italy’s heritage be left to this system?

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