Culture And Media

Vatican: Strong response to 'adopt' damaged art works

Vatican City, 15 April (AKI) - The Vatican has welcomed the positive response from art professionals and cultural institutions who are willing to "adopt" works of art damaged by last week's earthquake in central Italy. The appeal was launched via the Italian news agency Adnkronos by Francesco Buranelli, a senior Vatican official in charge of the church's cultural heritage.

"We have had instant support both from public institutions as well as private workshops. Support has been expressed both verbally and in writing. There are also many who are supporting the appeal through word of mouth," said Buranelli.

The Vatican says many of the assets damaged in the region of Abruzzo, such as paintings, silver items, and furnishings "are still covered in the rubble" and it will take some time to have a full picture of the situation.

"In addition, immense damage has been inflicted on the (region's) architectural and monumental heritage."

Buranelli, a former director of the Vatican Museums, asked anyone who is interested in supporting the appeal, to send an email to the following address:

Italy's culture minister Sandro Bondi also appealed for funds on Wednesday to save the historic art works, churches and other buildings damaged by the earthquake that registered 6.3.

The United States government has said it will contribute to the restoration of art treasures including churches damaged by the earthquake and numerous aftershocks.

US president Barack Obama last week telephoned Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to offer his condolences and sympathy for the victims and assured Berlusconi the US was prepared to offer any help the Italian people required.

A total of 294 people were killed and another 55,000 were left homeless by the earthquake in the early hours of 6 April.

Hundreds of other aftershocks have been recorded in the region over the past week with many being felt as far as Rome, 100 kilometres from L'Aquila, Abruzzo's provincial capital.

Italy lies on two fault lines and has been hit by powerful earthquakes in the past, mainly in the south of the country.




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