anti-seismic plan to protect churches and cathedrals

Italy launches anti-seismic plan to protect churches from earthquakes

News Travel & Tourism

Italy is one of Europe’s most earthquake prone countries. A new anti-seismic plan will provide grants to some of the cathedrals, churches and basilicas at risk.

The anti-seismic plan means the Italian culture ministry’s heritage safety department can distribute resources around the country to mitigate the impact of severe earthquakes.

Around 250 of the 840 structures owned by Italy’s Religious Buildings Fund will be assigned grants. The decision is based on the historical value of the building, importance for local communities, and vulnerability to damage. Straps and chains will be wrapped around bell towers and shock-absorbing blocks fixed to foundations.

Anti-seismic plan part of National Recovery and Resilience Plan

The initiative is backed by Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, a €191.5 billion investment package from the EU. Funds are being channelled into “macro-projects” aimed at preserving and rejuvenating Italy’s cultural sector.

The anti-seismic plan is just one part of an €800 million macro-project. The list of churches receiving funds will be finalised by the end of March. Grants will be distributed by June. Restoration and maintenance works are set to be completed by the end of 2025.

Cathedrals, churches and basilicas across Italy are at risk of being razed by earthquakes that could strike at any moment. But the government is on a mission to protect some of the country’s most significant and vulnerable religious buildings from disastrous seismic shocks. A new national project backed with €250m from Italy’s multibillion-euro pot of EU Covid-19 recovery funding is unprecedented in Europe for its scale and reach, officials believe.”— The Art Newspaper

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