Milestones, Winter 1997

The Friends of Assisi, an emergency appeal to assist Italy's recovery from the recent earthquakes that have struck the center of the country, has been founded in association with WMF. Since September 26, 1997 a series of powerful tremors and strong aftershocks have damaged parts of Umbria and the Marches. At the Basilica Superiore ofthe Church of San Francesco in Assisi, the tremors caused a section ofthe irreplaceable frescoed vault to collapse, killing two monks and two Italian government engineers who were inspecting damage from the earlier quake.

Throughout this part of Italy, where many characteristic late-medieval and early Renaissance townscapes were so thoroughly preserved, dozens oftowns have sustained major damage and hundreds of buildings and works of art are now on the brink of being lost. As in 1966, in response to the flooding that devastated Florence and Venice, the World Monuments Fund will participate in a grassroots effort mobilizing individuals to help rescue the irreplaceable historic heritage of Italy. Once the geological situation has stabilized, WMF will work with the Friends of Assisi and the Italian authorities to identify a restoration project.


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