Director-General of UNESCO expresses solidarity with Italy after devastating earthquake
26 August – The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has expressed her profound condolences to the government and people of Italy after the earthquake that struck Umbria, causing tragic loss of life and extensive damage, notably in three villages of Amatrice, Accumuli and Arquata.
“I wish to express my profound solidarity following the powerful earthquake that struck Italy” said the Director-General. “My deepest condolences go to the Government of Italy and particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured. Cultural infrastructures have been severely affected and this highlights once more the need to strengthen and upscale conservation efforts and protection strategies in emergency situations. Italy has shown its leadership in the protection of cultural heritage across the globe, and UNESCO stands ready to assist Italy in all its fields of competences to help the Italian people heal and recover.”
In the three villages of Amatrice, Accumuli and Arquata, much of the historic built fabric has collapsed. These historic villages, and especially Amatrice, were particularly well preserved examples of medieval settlements in the mountain region of the Italian Appennini, along the ancient Via Salaria built by the Romans. The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism has indicated that 293 listed cultural properties have been affected and that all revenues from entry tickets to all Italian cultural sites and Museums on the coming Sunday will be destined to the recovery of the cultural heritage. According to initial assessments, the nearest World Heritage property to the epicenter of the quake is Assisi, with the Basilica of Saint Francis, has been spared by the recent disaster
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