Article by Maria Teresa Tozzi
Just a few days have passed since the Italian Government (or better the committee known as CIPE) has announced an extraordinary investment of 740 million euro for the regeneration of historical sites all over Italy, of which 370 million are destined to the Region Lazio and 32 million to the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica. The next step of this re-birth would be the inclusion of Ostia Antica in the List of the World Heritage Sites. We do belive that this amazing place deserves it. Let’s see what has been done so far.
The first application for nomination of Ostia Antica to the World Heritage Centre was made in April 2014. A motion about the procedure for recognizing Ostia Antica Unesco World Heritage site was accepted on 11th January 2018 by the city council of Rome.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was established in London in 1945. Its main missions are the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage.
It is very important to become a World Heritage site, especially for the territory’s development. However, the application process is quite long and elaborate.
The first phase is a request for the registration in the national Tentative List. Once a year, the intergovernmental World Heritage Committee of CNIU meets to decide which sites will be inscribed on the World Heritage Positive List. By preparing a Tentative List and selecting sites from it, a State Party can plan when to present a nomination file, included a dossier and a management plan.
According to the World Heritage Convention about the protection of natural and cultural World Heritage, adopted by Unesco in 1972, the candidates sites can be registered in the List into three categories: Cultural Heritage, Natural Heritage, and Cultural Landscape. Unesco has registered 1073 World Heritage sites placed in 167 countries. The country with the most number of sites is Italy, with 53 entries. The first Italian site recognized was Valle Camonica in 1979, while the Venetian defensive works (16th-17th century) were included last year.
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding value and meet at least one of the ten selection criteria.
Ostia Antica, together with Pompeii, is the most important archaeological site in Italy and we hope for its future inclusion.