In Rome we confront the past on a daily basis. And I’m not just talking about the obvious– the Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. We also frequently see a strip of Roman pavement sectioned off from traffic, a chunk of wall sticking out of a more modern structure, a stack of tuff blocks. History is everywhere; and it’s crumbling before our eyes. Just have a look at the fire wall from the Forum of Augustus or the Servian Wall section on the Aventine.
Rome is one of several UNESCO heritage sites in Italy. The world heritage list, which also includes national parks, recognizes and highlights the extraordinary achievements of civilizations past, as well as extraordinary natural settings.
Look closely at the list; a huge percentage of sites are, in fact, archaeological in character. Despite this massive list, only a fraction of the world’s heritage actually is represented. The bulk of the world’s sites are not listed or attended to by the UNESCO list (and respective countries), or covered by the valiant efforts of great world class organizations such as ICCROM, Getty Conservation, WMF, GHF. There’s just too much history to preserve, and to make these top 10 lists, only the most unique or most exemplary ones make it (and get the funding).
Given the current financial state of things in the world, funding of cultural heritage and its preservation has been further exacerbated. When we face financial realities and recognize the needs that countless monuments have in order to attain sustainable preservation (through properly conceived management plans), what will be the future for the countless of un-recognized or under-funded monuments and sites?
The purpose of the two day FIRST ANNUAL UNLISTED CONFERENCE is to address these deficiencies through bringing together a varied group of “stakeholders”, including archaeologists, conservators, architects, entrepreneurs, economists, cinematographers, and those in social media for a new conversation on conservation matters.
We’ll be posting the lectures afterward on our new, revamped website (www.romanculture.org). If you are in Rome April 15 and 16th, please have a look at the conference program and consider stopping by to participate in the conversation.