January 16, 2015
Communications and Marketing
On January 14, professor and archaeologist, Claudio Bizzarri spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library on how politics and economics affect preserving historical and cultural materials in the European Union (EU).
As director of Parco Archeologico e Ambientale dell'Orvietano (PAAO), Dr. Bizzarri is dedicated to preserving and managing the cultural and natural heritage in the eight municipalities in the territory of Orvieto, Italy. As the co-director of the college's excavation site in Orvieto with Classics Professor and Chair David George, Ph.D., he has hands-on experience with the area's artifacts and historical spaces.
In his talk entitled, "Managing Cultural Resources in Italy and the EU," Dr. Bizzarri discussed the European Union's actions to ensure historical conservation and the challenges still ahead.
In the coming years, cultural heritage is eligible for a significant amount of EU funding for conservation, digitization, infrastructure, and research. However, because Italy has a large number of the world heritage sites (50 of 1,001) cities such as Orvieto aren't included; as a result, they have mounting challenges including financial ones.
Dr. Bizzarri emphasized the importance of supporting cultural heritage as a resource for economic growth, employment, tourism promotion, and the potential for the revitalization of urban and rural areas. Physical things such as monuments and archaeological sites are only part of what makes up cultural heritage. "Knowledge, practices and traditions of European citizens," he says, are also important pieces.
Referencing the excavation sites in Orvieto, he said, "The importance is of something which is still emerging from the ground, and that needs to be understood, studied and then preserved. How can you preserve something if you don't know what it is?"
Dr. George, Dr. Bizzarri, Saint Anselm students, and other members of the archaeological dig crew have excavated several sites in and around Orvieto, including a pyramidal hypogeum deep underneath Orvieto and an Etrusco-Roman site 12 kilometers away as well as a medieval church. Read more about their recent discoveries.
In related news, the college is expanding upon its relationship to the historical city of Orvieto with a pilot study abroad program. Beginning spring 2016, Saint Anselm College students may live, learn, and travel with fellow students and faculty in Orvieto, through a semester-long educational experience. Learn more about the study abroad program.
Story by Dominique Del Prete '15