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Friday, September 7, 2012

COMMUNITY UNITES TO REBUILD CLOCK TOWER DESTROYED BY EARTHQUAKE



Community unites to rebuild clock tower destroyed by earthquake
Thousands of fragments of medieval Torre dei Modenesi are sifted

By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 09 August 2012

The Torre dei Modenesi, a 13th-century clock tower destroyed in May by the two powerful earthquakes that rocked the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, has become a symbol of the damage done to the country's heritage. Teams of volunteers from across the country have now travelled to the small town of Finale Emilia to help salvage, collect and catalogue fragments of the 32 metre high tower, with a view to restoring it to its former glory.

This is a contrast to the situation in the similarly quake-damaged city of l’Aquila, Italy, where more than three years on residents have still not been allowed to return to their homes.

Volunteers have so far sifted through around 7,000 fragments of the tower, from red terracotta bricks and pieces of the clock to parts of the bell itself. The fragments are being stored in pallets in the courtyards of local primary schools, and it is expected that they will be transferred to a warehouse for the winter, where they will be studied further.

A spokesperson for the Direzione Regionale per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici (the regional arm of Mibac, the Italian ministry of culture) has acknowledged the presence of civilian volunteers in Finale but has also stated that the official response teams are still evaluating the widespread damage to the region’s heritage and are not specifically focusing on the tower at this time. He added, however, that where it is possible “our priority is to rebuild damaged sites with the original pieces”.


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