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Rome Reports

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Italian earthquakes shake historical heritage of many basilicas

Destroyed: this is the existing condition of many basilicas and churches in Italy after the earthquakes the country has suffered since August 24. The first major affected church was St. Francis of Assisi, in Amatrice. After the initial earthquake, it was left in this state. With each earthquake, the fear of losing works with incalculable historical value rises. In fact, these three churches only have existing ruins as a memory: St. Benedict, where only the facade has survived, St. Francis, which is nearly completely destroyed and the cathedral of St. Mary of Argentea which is demolished. All of these are in Norcia, the epicenter of the last earthquake on October 30. Day and night firefighters work to conserve the little that remains of some churches after the earthquakes. Tremors were also felt near the Vatican, which is evident on some of the columns on Via della Conciliazione, the main road in front of St. Peter's. As a result, they have been fenced off because after the earthquake they slightly moved. The resulting fear has not yet disappeared and much work remains to be done to restore the affected churches. However, new replicas could destroy the little history that remains, erasing their legacy of great value. AQ/MB RR FL -PR Up:JRB