Major changes are planned in the management of cultural heritage in Italy.

The Ministry for Cultural Heritage is introducing radical reforms: the archaeological superintendencies are to disappear, merging with those dedicated to the territory and artistic heritage. The superintendent from now on is likely to be an architect or a person with only administrative skills and no specialist academic training. The new offices are to be distributed according to a new geographical scheme. The Italian system of protection for Cultural Heritage is already in serious difficulty as a result of recent reforms, which have almost paralyzed many activities. The new reform will deal a final blow to the efficiency and functionality of these important offices for the preservation and promotion of Italian archaeological heritage. It even appears that regulations on preventive archaeological work are to be removed from public tenders and contracts. Archives, storerooms and offices will be dismembered, every continuity in the work of protection will be interrupted. These reforms have been introduced without proper planning or consultation.

Aware of the need to enhance the saveguarding system, Italian archaeologists invite the Ministry to withdraw the proposed decree and to open a discussion with the experts in the field by involving also the international scientific community.

They have also launched a petition, so anyone who wishes to sign it protesting at these changes, should click here.