Finding Beauty in Destruction

Italian preservationists work to save 900 works from earthquake ruble.

This article, written by Danny Lewis, appears on Smithsonian.

Italian Preservationists Save 900 Artworks From the Ruins of Earthquake-Struck Amatrice

The “Blue Helmets” spent months scouring rubble for priceless pieces

The Italian “Blue Helmets” is a 60-person police force made up of historians, scholars and restoration experts, as well as members of the Carabinieri Art Squad. Formed in 2015, the force is dedicated to saving priceless pieces of humanity’s cultural heritage ravaged by war and natural disasters. When a massive earthquake struck the Italian town of Amatrice in August, the squad had its first mission, Stephanie Kirchgaessner writes for The Guardian.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the Italian village was devastating: nearly 300 people lost their lives and many historic buildings collapsed. With a city as old as Amatrice, where archaeologists have found evidence of human settlements dating back to prehistoric times, the number of historic artworks and artifacts at risk of being damaged was enough to call in the experts, Caroline Elbaor reports for artnet NewsRead more at Smithsonian…

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