Culture ministry condemned over running of archaeological sites

13 Jul 2011 8:58 AM | Anonymous

Culture ministry condemned over running of archaeological sites
Report finds multiple failings in maintenance, security and management
By Edek Osser | From issue 226, July-August 2011
Published online 12 Jul 11 (News)

Out with the old: former Italian Culture Minister Sandro Bondi in the ancient city of Pompeii

ROME. Italy’s Court of Auditors has released a damning report entitled An Enquiry into the State of Maintenance of Archae­ological Sites. The report is fiercely critical of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (Mibac, the Ministry for Cultural Heritage), its organisation and the way its responsibilities are divided up between national, regional and local bodies.


The 52-page document examined the three-year period from 2007 to 2009. The auditors focused on the maintenance, security and management of Italy’s most important archaeological sites and concluded that the amount of money needed “far exceeds the available resources, although there is no doubt that the proper conservation and promotion of this heritage would have a positive impact on the tourist industry”. The report added that 15 million visits are made to archaeological sites in Italy each year, representing the “driving force of cultural tourism in Italy”.

The exchange of information between the ministry, the superintendencies (the local arms of the ministry) and regional agencies is inadequate, the auditors found. In a time of reduced public spending, it said it was all the more important to have “greater transparency” on spending priorities and procedures. In particular, the court pointed to a “serious lack of control” over the activities of the superintendencies. These routinely fail to inform Mibac’s general director of works being carried out to conserve and protect sites.

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