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.


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The ICCROM library remains closed until further notice. To respect the precautionary distance measures among readers, access will only be granted upon reservation to a limited number of users in a date yet to be defined.

Monday 25 May marked the 57th anniversary of the birth of the African Union. To celebrate, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation hosted an online marathon featuring artistic and cultural content dedicated to the African continent.

Recovery from the COVID-19 global health crisis will be a long and evolving process, but what is clear is that culture cannot be left behind. 

Like all of you, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing a range of measures to ensure the safety of our staff while continuing to carry out our mission to promote the conservation of cultural heritage around the world. This is first and foremost a health crisis, and our thoughts go to those who are unwell, anxious or grieving.

On 12th of February 2020 the Director-General received the visit of Ms Daniela Porro, Soprintendente Speciale Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Roma, and Alessandro Mascherucci, Architect in charge of the Portion of San Michele Complex.