Research on Earthquake Reconstruction Activities in Italy

Damaged cultural properties in the collection
First aid treatment

 Since 2017, the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has been carrying out a cooperative project to improve the conservation management system for cultural properties in the Republic of Turkey. On February 6, 2023, an earthquake centered in southeastern Turkey occurred, causing extensive damage mainly in Turkey and the Syrian Arab Republic, and affecting the state of preservation of cultural heritage. Obviously, for the time being, humanitarian aid should be prioritized. However, in the near future, it is anticipated that international support will also be needed for conservation and restoration of cultural properties.
 Meanwhile, Central Italy suffered a series of major earthquakes in 1997, 2009, and 2016, and recovery efforts for damaged cultural heritage are still ongoing. The investigation was conducted from February 13 to 16, 2023, in the regions of Marche and Umbria, with the aim of learning how to respond to possible future contingencies, as well as to consider future support for Turkey and Syria, which have similar cultural heritages. Located in the city of Spoleto, the Sainte Quiord Art Collection was built following the 1997 earthquake as a shelter for cultural properties in the event of a natural disaster and as a place to provide first aid.
The facility still houses approximately 7000 pieces of damaged cultural properties, and emergency measures are being taken by nationally certified conservators.
 Through repeated experience, Italy has developed an organizational structure and procedures for rescue operations immediately after a disaster and for subsequent handling of the situation. There are many things to be learned from countries that continue to make advanced efforts in disaster recovery and reconstruction activities related to cultural properties. We would like to continue our research and use the learnings in our future activities.

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