St. Joseph of the Carpenters collapse, prosecutor's office launches culpable disaster investigation. Securing continues

Rome, prosecutors launch a culpable disaster investigation into the ceiling collapse at San Giuseppe dei Falegnami. Meanwhile, safety work continues.

The Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office, in a proceeding coordinated by Assistant Prosecutor Nunzia D’Elia, has decided to launch a culpable disaster investigation to shed light on responsibility for the collapse of the ceiling of the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami in Rome.

Everyone’s attention now focuses on the restoration work conducted between 2012 and 2015: it was a conservative restoration, costing 747,621.48 euros, partly financed by the CEI and partly covered by public funding. Mibac technicians explained to Repubblica that the work had been done in a workmanlike manner, but the beam that gave way was inaccessible.

In the meantime, work continues to secure the church: in fact, other collapses cannot be ruled out, which could affect the preserved works (which now all need to be moved to safe places, also because since the church now has no roof, rain risks ruining them: the most important ones, however, have already been moved).

A note from Mibac recalls that the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami is the property of the Vicariate of Rome, while the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities is responsible for the protection functions. Mibac has already activated all emergency procedures: personnel from the Special Superintendence of Rome, the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, and the Carabinieri’s Nucleo Tutela Patrimonio Culturale (Cultural Heritage Protection Unit) have been deployed; in addition, the collection of data on the works contained in the church has been activated (Carlo Maratta’s Nativity would not have been damaged). The first coordination meeting (attended by the special superintendent of archaeology, fine arts and landscape of Rome, Francesco Prosperetti, the director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, Alfonsina Russo, the commander of the Carabinieri’s Nucleo Tutela, Fabrizio Parrulli, the deputy commander of the Carabinieri’s Nucleo Tutela, Alberto Deregibus, the director of the General Directorate of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, Caterina Bon Valsassina and the national coordinator of the crisis unit of the Mibac, Prefect Fabio Carapezza Guttuso) established the start of the monitoring activities on the work of securing the structure, following which it will be possible to complete the recovery of all the works currently not transferable and all parts of the coffered ceiling, on which the ministry has let it be known that restoration work will be initiated. In addition, the meeting acquired elements of knowledge and evaluation provided by the Special Superintendence of the Capital, an emanation of the Mibac responsible for the protection of the church.

Firefighters are also investigating the causes of the collapse. The Vicariate of Rome, for its part, issued a note specifying that “the collapse occurred suddenly and in a totally unpredictable way, without any premonitory signs. The Technical Office of the Vicariate in collaboration with all the competent authorities immediately activated urgent safety works, especially of the important works of art preserved inside, which are being recovered by the Fire Brigade, in the presence of officials of the Superintendence and the Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit.” In addition, the Vicariate concludes, “in the coming days all procedures will be activated for surveys of the building and investigations into the causes that caused the collapse, which will be followed by the elaboration of design hypotheses for the restoration of the collapsed roof.”

St. Joseph of the Carpenters collapse, prosecutor's office launches culpable disaster investigation. Securing continues
St. Joseph of the Carpenters collapse, prosecutor's office launches culpable disaster investigation. Securing continues

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