International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
ICCROM and Italy

ICCROM and Italy

The Headquarters Agreement signed between UNESCO and Italy on 27 April 1957 gave a home to a new organization, ICCROM. Sixty years have now passed, and the dialogue with ICCROM’s host country is arguably now more important than ever.

Today, Italy is taking a leading role in cultural heritage protection at the international level, a role made clear through multiple diplomatic and humanitarian developments. This aspect of Italy’s foreign policy and cultural diplomacy is both the raison d’être and explanation for ICCROM’s location in Italy. Recent years have seen many opportunities for collaboration between ICCROM and its host country on these vital themes.

Italy is deeply committed to heritage protection, and its strong engagement in the Mediterranean region is a main pole of its international policy. Both directly and through coordination, ICCROM’s host country supports nations in the Mediterranean through humanitarian assistance and capacity building.  These initiatives, often taken in conjunction with ICCROM activities, aim for a positive regional impact in Africa, the Arab region and southeastern Europe, as well as internationally.  Moreover, given ICCROM’s strong focus on disaster preparedness, ICCROM has leveraged its long-standing cooperation with Japan to bring visibility to Italy’s rescue of damaged heritage following the earthquakes in Central Italy.

In the 60 years of ICCROM’s presence in Italy, the collaboration framework has greatly evolved. Born at the aftermath of the Second World War, ICCROM was called – in the first years of its activity – to address the issues of the post-war reconstruction, issues supported strongly by Italian institutions. In the early 1960s, ICCROM contributed to international campaigns in which Italy was a driving force — recovery from the Florence floods, the transfer of the Abu Simbel monument and other initiatives as well. In more recent years, as Italy has strengthened its cultural diplomacy beyond its borders, ICCROM has offered an ideal platform for joint initiatives in a worldwide scenario, addressing the growing complexity of the themes proposed by cultural heritage.

 

Latest News

 

Director-General Webber Ndoro expressed the need to support ‘digital transformation’ across Africa at the Third Conference for a Euro-African Academic Partnership in Teramo, Italy earlier this month, joining delegates from African and European universities and international organizations to promote academic cooperation and socio-economic integration for young people.

After the success of the first three modules of RE-ORG Emilia-Romagna in Italy, held online from 26 April to 3 June 2021, the fourth phase from 4 to 8 October has now kicked off. This activity will involve on-site practice for implementing a reorganization plan using the civic museums of Modena and Cento as case studies.

After the success of last year's inaugural Soft Power Conference, the second edition was held on 30 and 31 August 2021, with our Director-General Webber Ndoro, a member of the Soft Power Club, representing ICCROM at the event in Venice, Italy. The members of the club are strong proponents of multilateral dialogue and collaboration as a means for nations to promote their interests, in what is the essence of ‘soft power’.

ICCROM is deeply saddened by the loss of lives and extensive damage, including to heritage both natural and cultural, resulting from the catastrophic wildfires currently raging in many parts of the world.

Much has already been written about 2020, a year unlike any in living memory. Of course, the advent of the global pandemic was the dominant story, testing the resilience of nations confronted with the sudden loss of lives and livelihoods, and in many places a crisis still unfolding. However, these were also 12 months in which we witnessed remarkable feats of human endeavour, as vaccines were developed in record time and millions worldwide rallied in support of transformative action, from climate change to social justice. By the end, 2020 was defined as much by hope as it was by hardship – a dichotomy we have chosen to reflect in the design of the ICCROM Annual Report.