Altarpieces (often extraordinarily important), sculptures, jewelry, furniture. While Minister Dario Franceschini was raving about the “blue helmets of culture,” there was absolutely nothing of the kind.
And after the terrible earthquake of Oct. 30, still nothing, until the mayors clamored loudly for their right to work independently. That’s what the commissioner Vasco Errani granted: More than a century ago, somehow it was decided that there is no need for technicians to handle emergencies of the cultural heritage. It is like telling the mayor to operate on a gravely injured person, because the ambulance cannot come for a few days.
And so, today we admire the bulldozers rumbling on heaps of frescoes, and see that the policemen (heroic, as always) are the ones taking the mutilated works away from the ruined churches. Just like that: putting the pieces down on wet meadows, without taking any photograph, without any special tools, without following any protocol. It feels as if we were not in Italy, home to the most advanced preservation of heritage, but in the last of the most barbarous countries.