Roberto Conforti, General of the Carabinieri Corps for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (CC-TPC), passed away on 26 July 2017. He was 79 years old, and had more than 42 years of service in the Corps.
Conforti’s long career with the Carabinieri began in 1961. After serving in many regions of Italy, he was posted to Lazio in 1985, where he took part in multiple initiatives against organized crime. In 1991 Conforti was named to the command of the Protection Unit for Artistic Heritage (Nucleo Protezione del Patrimonio Artistico – CC-TPC), which he commanded until his retirement on 1 September 2002.
Conforti’s Protection Unit traced and recovered thousands of works taken from museums, archives, churches, archaeological sites and private spaces, in Italy as well as in several foreign states. Some noteworthy works were the Nomentum Slab with its dedication to the Emperor Hadrian, and the Capitoline Triad which the Unit returned to the Rodolfo Lanciani Civic Archaeological Museum, as well as Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings Le Jardinier et L’Arlésienne.
Under Conforti’s leadership, the Cultural Heritage wing of the Carabinieri Corps became famous worldwide for the success of its art crime investigations and recoveries.
Gen. Conforti was President of the SIPBC Association – Società per la Protezione dei Beni Culturali, a society for which ICCROM has assured both patronage and presence since its inception. Conforti had also been chairing the organization of the exhibition La bellezza ritrovata – Arte negata e riconquistata in mostra (Beauty rediscovered – art denied and regained). This exhibit may be visited at the Capitoline Museums in Rome until 26 November 2017.
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