Donnerstag, 04.03.2021 12:46 Uhr

The Blue Helmets of Culture

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 23.01.2021, 20:04 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4196x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The protection of cultural heritage in areas of international crisis is vital. The Italian government promoted the institution of the "Blue Helmets of Culture", as part of the "Unite4Heritage" initiative commissioned by the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. It is a Task Force, made up of experts from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBACT),

the culture ministry of the Italian Republic and highly qualified military personnel from the Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection Command, formed to intervene in areas affected by emergencies, such as calamities or crises produced by man, in order to safeguard archaeological sites, places of culture and cultural heritage; to combat the international trafficking of illegally stolen cultural goods; to support the Authority of the requesting foreign countries, in the preparation of measures to limit the risks that crisis or emergency situations could cause to the cultural heritage of that nation.

With the historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, which took place in Rome on 16 February 2016, Italy was the first and currently the only country in the world to establish and make available to UNESCO the "Blue Helmets of Culture ". Pending the definition of an implementation agreement that allows its use abroad under UNESCO aegis, staff of the Italian Task Force "Unite4Heritage" worked in the areas of central Italy and Ischia affected by recent earthquakes, effectively contributing to the recovery and securing over 29,500 cultural assets at risk of destruction, dispersion and theft.

Iraq and Mexico are the countries in which the use of "Blue Helmets of Culture" has been most intense. In Iraq, where since the beginning of 2018 there is a constant presence of two Carabinieri from the Cultural Heritage Protection Command, deployed as part of the "Inherent Resolve / Prima Parthica" mission, 38 courses have been held since 2016 in " Cultural Heritage Protection ”, in favor of personnel from the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Culture and Antiquities, training over 1,000 units. In Mexico, on the other hand, Carabinieri and experts of "Unite4Heritage" helped the local authorities and the "Unidad de Tutela del Patrimonio Cultural", established on 28 March 2018 within the Gendarmerie Division of the Federal

Police, in preparing emergency measures in the event of natural disasters. 2019 saw the use of a Carabinieri Task Force in Venice, following an important episode of high tide. The unit, which arrived in support of the local Carabinieri Nucleus on November 14, contributed to the safety of 11 linear meters of shelving containing ancient volumes, present in the libraries of the Giustinian and Querini palaces.In 2020, two reconnaissance missions were conducted abroad: in January in Albania, following the seismic events that occurred in the immediately preceding months, in October in Lebanon, where a fire in the port of Beirut damaged historic buildings in the center and 40 of 130 artwork from the Sursock Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

In the following December, the specialized “U4H” soldiers of the Carabinieri Nucleus of Cagliari, following the violent storms that hit the town of Bitti (NU), rescued the oldest registers of the marital status. The Italian Task Force "Unite4Heritage" is a very important step forward undertaken by Italy in a supranational mission to protect civilization. In fact, it is at Italy that the international community looks as a model in the protection of cultural heritage.

The setting up of the Task Force, among the many actions carried out, is one of the best answers that Italian Institutions could give to those responsible for crimes perpetrated in the crisis area against humanity by the militants of Daesh and by similar criminal / terrorist organizations.

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