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venerdì, Luglio 19, 2024

Italy establishes Task Force to save cultural heritage nationally and abroad

ROME, MARCH 31 – Italy established by a ministerial decree a Task Force of civil and military experts with a mandate to operate in Italy and abroad to defend the cultural heritage and to combat the illicit trafficking of art works. “Italy is an excellence in the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage, our skills are recognized all over the world”, said the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini who signed today the decree establishing the Task Force. “The ‘blue helmets’ of culture – Franceschini added – will be able to take part in Italy and abroad in the defense of the cultural patrimony from damages caused by disasters, natural calamities, wars, terrorist attacks and in order to contrast the illicit traffic of the works of art”.

The unit builds upon an idea launched by Franceschini himself seven years ago, when historical sites in Iraq and Syria were threatened by the vandalism of the Islamic State (ISIS). Italy’s activation of the force arrived ahead of the United States, which last year had announced the establishment of a unit of ‘Monuments Men’ which isn’t yet operative because of red tape delays. The Franceschini decree comes on the eve of the conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg that will be chaired by the Italian minister and that will see, tomorrow morning, the participation of the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Oleksander Tkachenko.

The ‘Blue Helmets of culture’ are civilian experts of the Ministry of Culture and highly qualified military of the Carabinieri Command for Cultural Heritage Protection (TPC). They are trained to intervene, in a secure environment, in areas affected by emergencies, such as disasters or crises produced by man in order to: a) carry out a survey of the cultural heritage present in the crisis area and of any damage suffered; b) identify places for the recovery of the cultural heritage; c) identify and implement safety measures, including the possible movement of movable cultural objects; d) provide the necessary technical and scientific support for the setting-up of temporary storage facilities and, when appropriate, emergency laboratories set up for mobile cultural objects removed from places of crisis; e) producing regular monitoring reports on the progress of the mission; f) produce a final report on the mission.

An intervention abroad by the Blue Helmets of Culture, after evaluating the conditions of stability, security and employment, can be activated at the express request of one or more foreign States, after consulting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The Task Force can operate also at the invitation of UNESCO as agreed during the G20 Culture Summit at the end of July. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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