Salvaging the History of Amatrice and Surrounding Towns

In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake of late August 2016 that leveled entire towns and left almost 300 people dead, the New York Times has reported that teams are also busy assessing the losses in the form of art and cultural patrimony. 

Italy’s Cultural Ministry’s crisis unit is working diligently to salvage and document that which they could recover from ruined towns such as Amatrice. Recovery of materials, ranging from archival fragments to ecclesiastical artifacts to significant objects from municipal museums, is a significant challenge as many locations are still unstable. Nevertheless, some see it as a path to recovery given the scope of the disaster. Indeed, a spokesman for Italy’s firefighters commented to the New York Times that “what’s left has even more meaning.” 

For those who still wish to donate to the Italian Red Cross to help with relief efforts, online contributions may be made using this link.

Further Reading:
Elisabetta Povoledo, “After Quake, an Italian Crisis Unit Races to Rescue a Region’s Heritage” (New York Times, 18 September, 2016). 

Frances D’Emilio, “Lost Heritage: Quake deals blow to Italy’s art treasures” (Washington Post, 29 August, 2016). 

Images courtesy of Alessandro Grassing for The New York Times. 

Posted by Alexis Culotta 

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