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23. The Trend Towards the Restitution of Cultural Properties: Some Italian Cases

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Chapter Summary

The importance of cultural heritage is rooted in the mind of the majority of Italians. The unification of the country was first achieved in the cultural field, due to the Divina Commedia of Dante and the literary works of Petrarch and Boccaccio, written in the Italian language and not in Latin. The main aspects of the Italian regime on ownership and movements of cultural properties, as resulting from the Code of Cultural Properties and Landscape, are discussed. The cultural properties that belong to the State, the regions and the other public territorial entities (provinces or municipalities) form the cultural demesne. The most important among them, including archaeological areas and collections of museums, cannot be alienated. The others can be alienated on the basis of an authorization by the Ministry and provided that certain conditions are met.

Keywords: Antonio Canova; Boccaccio; cultural heritage; Italian; Petrarch



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