On Sunday the BBC had an interesting article with video of Rome’s struggle to maintain Roman monuments, excavate them, and preserve them; all while other more pressing contemporary budgetary matters take priority. Tourism does stem from historical sites as the piece points out. I wonder how much of Italy’s recent efforts to repatriate objects may stem from the fact that there have been budget cuts in other sectors? Not sure about that, I’m just speculating. If anyone may know of any data along those lines, I would be interested to hear it. Does Italy have a double standard? Is it arguing too vehemently against collectors abroad as a way to shift attention from the difficult problems of preservation and protection domestically? Even Francesco Rutelli was critical of the difficulties in development in Rome while he was mayor there.
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