Italy’s culture ministry takes over management of plundered Girolamini church
Following a series of high-profile thefts, the government has pledged €10m to help restore the site
By Tina Lepri and Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 21 October 2013
Naples’s Girolamini church complex, which made headlines around the world after a series of thefts from its historic archives, has been placed under the protection of Italy’s ministry of culture and is now part of the Polo Museale Napoletano, the state-run network of cultural institutions in the region. The country’s minster of culture, Massimo Bray, has already pledged €10m to help restore the site.
The complex, built between the 16th and 17th centuries, includes a church, convent, picture gallery and a vast library of precious books and manuscripts. Thousands of items were stolen and trafficked abroad, and the library’s former director Marino Massimo De Caro is currently in jail for embezzlement, theft and possession of stolen goods.
The library, which was the hardest hit part of the complex, has been under investigation for over a year now, and researchers are working to catalogue and archive the manuscripts for future conservation. Many hidden treasures have also been discovered in damp corners of the building.
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