Italy to open ‘saved art’ museum in Rome

ROME, APR 6 (ANSA) – The Italian government announced this Wednesday (6) that it will open a museum dedicated exclusively to recovered works of art, that is, pieces that have been damaged, stolen, sold or exported illegally, but which ended up being “saved” by the police.

According to the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, the museum will be in the capital Rome and the idea is already at an “advanced stage”. “We are working on it and we will say the date [de abertura] and the location in a few days. The idea is to have a place where the works recovered by the police are displayed before being returned. It will be a museum of saved art,” he explained.

The announcement was made during the return to Siena City Hall of a 15th-century painting by Renaissance artist Sano Di Pietro (1405-1481) that was recently restored by Germany.

According to the Italian government, the new museum’s first exhibition will focus on newly recovered art from the United States, including archaeological items from various civilizations.

“When there are new recoveries, the works on display will return to their place of origin, and we will present the new pieces,” said General Roberto Riccardi, commander of the division for the protection of cultural heritage at Arma dos Carabineros, Italy’s military police.

“The idea is to have a structure where to permanently present the rescue of art in its various forms: investigations, returns through cultural diplomacy, discovery among the rubble left by earthquakes and even recoveries after major restorations. Dostoevsky said that beauty would save the world. We want to be the world that saves beauty,” added Riccardi.

Recently, the Italian government also instituted a task force to protect cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural phenomena around the world.

The group was christened “Blue Helmets of Culture”, in reference to the blue helmets used by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers, and will also act to combat the illegal trafficking of works of art.

Interventions abroad may be activated at the request of one or more countries and at the invitation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), provided that security conditions are respected. (ANSA).

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