Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic

The Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (recently renamed Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro) www.iscr.beniculturali.it was founded in 1939, based on a project developed by Giulio Carlo Argan and Cesare Brandi, to ensure that restoration and conservation activities would be carried out on a scientific basis – human and natural sciences – and to unify conservation methods applied to works of art and archaeological artefacts.

Cesare Brandi was its first director and the author of the first “Theory of Restoration”, a fundamental text for conservators throughout the world, now translated into numerous languages.

In the 70 years of its activity, the Instituto has played a major role in the international field of conservation and has influenced schools and conservation programs in many countries. The recent eviction and consequential precipitous transfer of the Institute to inadequate premises will compromise its role and existence, and will seriously damage the structure of Italian Cultural Heritage.


Dear Mr President:

Next month, at the end of February 2010, the The Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (recently renamed Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro) will be forced to leave the historical premises where it was founded 70 years ago as a result of the final eviction order requested by the company who owns the building.

The ISCR is one of the most prestigious Italian institutions, a fundamental reference point for international conservation and for its modernisation process in the field of conservation since the 1939.

Without the Government’s intervention, the Institute will be transferred to temporary premises, due to the lack of an adequate currently-available alternative site.

The precipitous transferral of the Institute could compromise the forthcoming and opportune reopening of the Restoration School, and weaken the efficiency of the Institute’s technical-scientific structures, leading to its inevitable closure.

We would like to recall the extraordinary process that, in only two years, led to the creation of the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro proposed by Giulio Carlo Argan, with the support of the then-Minister of Education, Giuseppe Bottai; recall the enactment of the law that provided for its creation, the preparation of the premises, and finally, the commencement of activities and international recognition at the end of the 1950s as a result of the work of its first director, Cesare Brandi. Today, we propose that the Institute be allowed to remain in its current premises for at least another two years.

In the meantime, we also request the planning and realisation of suitable new premises. Additionally, we also suggest that the portion of Palazzo Borgia currently occupied by the Institute be converted into a Historical Museum for Conservation, in order to preserve one of the most prestigious pages in Italian cultural history.

We now turn to you, Mr President, in your function as guarantor for cultural institutions, a role given to you by the Constitution, to intervene in favour of ISCR in order for this institution to continue its role in Italy and abroad.

The Support to Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro petition to Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic was written by Rosalia Varoli Piazza and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.