“The history of Italian legislation
on the protection of antiquities
has always been without prejudice
to the prerogatives of private property.”


Archaeological, numismatic, paleontological and book collecting is particularly widespread in Italy. Very often, these collections remain unknown because of the judicial harassment that the collectors could face. The reality should be very different in order to allow scholars to get to know and study such collections. I recall an interview General Conforti gave at the time when he had the General Command of the Carabinieri Nuclei for the protection of the cultural heritage. He did not hesitate to consider an appropriate legal body that would favour the disclosure of all Italian private collections as a result of a lack of criminal or civil proceedings against collectors.
‘Interconnecting' private and public collecting is, at the moment, very much a dream, a serious shortcoming for the culture of the country and the awareness of cultural heritage. However, it will be necessary to return to this subject in a more appropriate and calm manner.

In addition to these collections, there are many others that have relevance to cultural heritage. There are ethno-anthropological collections, collections relating to prehistoric and primitive civilizations, collections of manuscripts, autographs, charts and incunabula, collections of prints, engravings and matrices, collections of maps and musical scores, collections of photographs and films, collections of military interest related to the First or Second World War, collections of Militaria and others.

A varied and interesting cultural world full of enthusiasts who have saved and transmitted both the passion and the goods themselves does exist.
Many of these collections later become public collections, by choice of the private owners.
Each of these meets or clashes with the law of cultural property.
This is why in this section, blog articles devoted to different collections and the respective legal problems will be published.
My staff and I regularly update this section with articles and analytical insights. Archaeology,
palaeontology, numismatics, but also palaeoanthropology, archiving, ancient documents and the history of collecting:

are the subjects that we cover. Always from a legal point of view, of course.
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