“This commission, ‘the Extra-Ordinary Commission for the Archaeological Areas of Rome and Ostia’ is gradually destroying the Professionalism that is needed to properly manage the Archaeological Infrastructure of Rome.” [1].

~ Martin G. Conde, Washington DC, USA. (11.06.2010).

If the Italian political appointees, especially those who are currently entrusted with the overall safeguarding and enhancement of Italy’s vast wealth of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage, i.e.:

Min. Sandro Bondi – Italy’s Minster of Culture.

Francesco Giro – Under-Secretary of Italy’s Ministry of Culture.

Arch. Roberto Cecchi – Italy’s Secretary General of Culture.

Mario Resca – Director General of the ‘Valorizzione’ for Italy’s Cultural Heritage.

Guido Bertolaso – [the now disgraced former], Extra Ordinary Commissioner for the Archaeological Areas of Rome and Ostia.

If these political appointees, of the current 4th government of Silvio Berlusconi (2008-present), where required meet the same level of professional standards, accountability and rigorous ethic criteria, that is demanded from the hundreds or so professional archaeologists, architects, restoration specialists, museum curators, custodians, and tour guides, currently employed within the various agencies administered by the Italian Ministry of Culture [MIBAC]; Both, Italy and Rome by far, and unquestionably would have one World’s best managed and protected collections of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage sites.

Unfortunately, in the case of the current situation Italy’s and especially Rome, it is the complete opposite. As of now, Italy and Rome’s vast wealth of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage, is fact administered by Min. Sandro “I know nothing of Art” Bondi and the other’s political cronies cited above; all who are nothing more than a collection of Berlusconi’s dubious political cronies; all whose self-serving interest, incompetence, greediness, corruptive political bureaucratic practices, have collectively over the last two-years, grossly mis-managed and left numerous archaeological and cultural sites throughout Italy and Rome in such a unfathomable disarray and disrepair; and, finally sadly Bondi and the other’s, during this time have shown absolutely no respect and / or have completely ignored the professional competency of the hundreds or so professional and dedicated archaeologists, architects, restoration specialists, museum curators, custodians, tour guides, and the other employee’s of the MIBAC.

Too emphasizes, just how corrupt and poorly managed Rome’s Archaeological Heritage is by the current administration of Min. Bondi, and his political staff of: Francesco Giro, Arch. Roberto Cecchi & Mario Resca, etc., the posting of the news & petition by the: Association of Italian Restorers (ARI) as of June 10, 2010, pleads to the Italy’s and the world professional academic and public community with the following urgent petition: =

“Salviamo il Colosseo dal Commissariamento!”



Now published on the web site of  (2) of June 11th, 2010, reporting, that Arch. Roberto Cecchi (3), now wants the restoration of the Colosseum in Rome to be entrusted to Private Construction Firms and not the world respected professional organization of the ‘Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (ISCR)’ of Rome (4), as the high-lighted text [my emphasis & along with my footnotes # 5, 6, & 7, added] in the petition stated here, specifically mentions:


“The Colosseum faces its greatest risk in its long history: the special commission for the safeguard of the archeological sites in Rome, Architect Roberto Cecchi, has decided to entrust the restoration of the monument, symbol for the whole history of ancient Rome, to construction enterprises instead of firms for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. Using the enormous decisional power, which he has inherited from Bertolaso (Head of the Italian emergency protection service), the commission has downgraded the Colosseum: in the year 2000 a pilot project, conducted by conservation professionals and lauded worldwide [5], had been carried out, in order to pin down the correct application techniques. Now instead, drafting for the purpose a new and crude restoration project for the damaged surfaces, huge construction enterprises, on which converge the sympathy and trust of the commission, instead of firms for the conservation of cultural heritage, have been called to lay hand on the monument. This condemnable practice has already been adopted for a part of the Colosseum and other very important monuments of the Roman Forums, as for example the Temple of Antonino e Faustina, completely disregarding the law, which identifies in the conservation professionals the legitimate figure to carry out these delicate projects, in order to guaranty the best possible conservation of the monument.

The Special Commission, created to carry out the restoration works on the archeological monuments faster and better, has chosen to put their conservation in the utmost risk: an inappropriate intervention risks to remove the most significant layers of the monument’s surface causing an unrecoverable damage; many monuments contracted by the public administration in Rome in recent years shared the same fate in the complete lack of interest by the media [6].

Sign the petition brought forward by the Association of Italian Restorers (ARI) to abolish the Special Commission and save the roman monuments, recovering legality and the correct application of the applying laws. Sign, so that the 9th article of Italian constitution, which obligates the Republic to protect its cultural and artistic heritage, is respected.” [7].

The Colosseum is heritage to all of us!

[End of petition text]

This petition as cited here above, and the other petitions and protests by professional Italian archaeologists, restorations specialists, scholars and students, etc., over the past two years (2008-10) only reinforces my comments here, as too the complete lack of professionalism by Min. Bondi, and his political staff of: Francesco Giro, Arch. Roberto Cecchi & Mario Resca, etc., and their actions will gradually and with very series consequences, eventually destroy the Professionalism that is needed to Properly Manage the Archaeological Infrastructure of Rome.

~ Martin G. Conde, Washington DC, USA (11.06.2010).  mgconde@yahoo.com


1). Martin G. Conde (edit. / a cura di), ‘Commissario delegato per le Aree Archeologiche di Roma e Ostia Antica (2008-2010).’ Portfolio of news articles and information regarding the Commission of Rome and Ostia, etc. / Ulteriori informazioni relative anche alla Commissione (2008-2010)]. =  http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/sets/72157623116127791/detail/

2). Arch. Roberto Cecchi, Segretario Generale di Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali. =http://www.beniculturali.it/mibac/export/MiBAC/sito-MiBAC/MenuPrincipale/Ministero/La-struttura-organizzativa/index.html

3). ‘Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (ISCR)’ = http://iscr.beniculturali.it/

4). ‘Salviamo il Colosseo dal Commissariamento! / SAVE THE COLOSSEUM FROM THE COMMISSIONARY ADMINISTRATION!’ (June 11, 2010). = http://www.patrimoniosos.it/rsol.php?op=getarticle&id=71530

5). Roma Archaeologia. Interventi per la tutela e la fruizione del patrimonio archeologico – secondo rapporto (17.05.2010). di Adriano La Regina (La Repubblica (18.05.2010), p. 7. =  http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/4619051358/in/set-72157623116127791/

6). M. G. Conde, “Italy & Rome: Protecting Italy’s Cultural Heritage – ‘Il grande <<business>> dell arte – Who ultimately decides the future for Italy’s & Rome’s past? The Politicians or the Scholars & the Archaeologists?” http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/sets/72157604863035128/detail/

7). M. Conde, (edit.), Protecting Rome’s Archaeological Heritage – Comments by: Prof’s: ‘R. B. Bandinelli, G. Carettoni, E. La Rocca & L. Cozza;’ in: ‘The Ageless Ruins of Italy are in Danger (…). The New York Times (Feb. 25, 1973) p. 452’. In: Commissario delegato per le Aree Archeologiche di Roma e Ostia Antica (2008-10).

Pg. 1/3 = http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/4311240933/in/set-72157623116127791/

Pg. 2/3 = http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/4311977908/in/set-72157623116127791/

Pg. 3/3 = http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/4311241589/in/set-72157623116127791/