Italy sends three Culture Blue Helmets to Croatia to check earthquake damage

Italy sent a mission of three Blue Helmets for Culture this morning to help Croatia check the damage the Dec. 29 earthquake did to its cultural heritage.

In a sign of international cooperation for culture,Italy sent a mission of “Blue Helmets for Culture” to Croatia this morning, who will have the task of checking the damage that the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the city of Petrinja last December 29 and is continuing to plague the territory with other less powerful but still worrying tremors. This was confirmed this morning by the Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini, who greeted the experts departing for Croatia, stressing “the need for the international community and the European Union to equip themselves as soon as possible with solidarity mechanisms for the protection of cultural heritage by identifying, as is already the case for civil protection, rapid and automatic mechanisms for protection interventions following natural disasters. Even for cultural heritage, the first hours are crucial to save works and places that are heritage of humanity.”

The team sent to Croatian soil this morning operates under the UNESCO Unite4Heritage program and is composed of two Carabinieri from the Cultural Heritage Protection Command and an expert restorer from MiBACT’s Central Institute for Restoration, who will assist an équipe of Croatian experts and suggest solutions to secure damaged properties and monuments, thanks to the experience gained in 2016 after the earthquake in central Italy and later in other countries, and to plan together with Croatian authorities the subsequent interventions. The objective, the MiBACT announced, is to provide Croatia with immediate support through the definition of the first addresses necessary for the securing of sites and cultural heritage damaged or at risk of further damage, due to the continuous earthquake replicas, and to acquire all the necessary information for the preparation of a possible further technical mission for the recovery of cultural heritage.

Italy, in recent years, has acquired extensive experience in the field of Cultural Heritage Protection, especially because of the many critical issues to heritage resulting from calamitous events (earthquakes, floods, hydro-geological instability), and has acquired it both at home and abroad. This is, of course, not the first time Italy has sent the “Blue Helmets of Culture” abroad: the team, which currently consists of about eighty military and civilian elements, recently carried out missions in Lebanon following the October 2020 Beirut explosion, in Albania after the January 2020 earthquake, in Mexico in 2017, after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, and, of course, in different parts of Italy during, for example, floods and cloudbursts.

Croatia thanked Italy for its help: “Your offer to assist us in this area with knowledge and skills of enormous value is of great importance to us,” said Croatian Culture Minister Nina Obiljien Korinek in a letter of thanks to Minister Franceschini. “The earthquake caused extensive damage in the cities of Petrinja, Sisak and Glina and was also felt in Zagreb, causing further deterioration of already damaged monuments.”

“Three months after its deployment in Lebanon and one year after Albania,” says Carabinieri Comandate Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, General Roberto Riccardi, “the Italian task force supported by UNESCO is leaving for Zagreb. It is a hand extended to our Croatian neighbors at a difficult time, a bridge over the Adriatic that has its basis in solidarity, a contribution to reconstruction and hope.”

“This mission,” added the director of the Emergencies and Reconstruction Service of the General Directorate for Heritage Security of MiBACT, Paolo Iannelli, “is a further can ahead of the missions carried out so far because it intervenes in a still emergency situation in the areas most affected by the earthquake and still subject to aftershocks.”

Pictured: Blue helmets for culture at work during the 2016 Central Italy earthquake.

Italy sends three Culture Blue Helmets to Croatia to check earthquake damage
Italy sends three Culture Blue Helmets to Croatia to check earthquake damage

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.