Wednesday, May 23, 2012

World Media Are Noting The Earthquake Damage To Italy’s Priceless Historical Heritage

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above, the unity prime minister,  Mr Monti, inspects the damage]


This post explained why Italy has such bad earthquakes.

The two halves of the country are separating, and the Apennines are slowly sinking down down. Perugia is at almost dead-center of that mountain range. This post described why despite that, Perugia may be at somewhat less risk than neighboring towns.

Sunday’s earthquake hit approximately midway between Perugia and Venice, at the top right-hand corner of the earthquake zone. Seven deaths are reported, and cultural icons destroyed by the thousands.

Media have very widely reported the historical and cultural damage. This is from the report by Reuters.

San Felice Sul Panaro was just one town where the quake inflicted severe wounds on centuries of heritage, memory and tradition, in some cases erasing them.

“A thousand years of art has turned to dust,” was the headline in Monday’s La Repubblica newspaper.

The damage done to Italy’s artistic heritage was the greatest since a 1997 earthquake hit the central Umbria region and parts of the ceiling of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi collapsed.

San Felice’s three main churches were in ruins and the town’s trademark Castle, La Rocca, was standing but wounded, perhaps fatally, by the 6.0 magnitude quake that hit Italy early on Sunday…

Started in 1332 by the Este family and enlarged in the following century, La Rocca housed a museum and was the town’s main tourist draw.

Only one of the castle’s four towers was left standing and a wide V-shaped crack in its brickwork suggested it too might fall.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/23/12 at 05:30 PM in The wider contextsItalian context

Comments

Strong the Sunday morning tremor where I live now, 100 km far away from Bondeno, Finale Emilia .... in my experience second only to that of May 1976

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_Friuli_earthquake.

Posted by ncountryside on 05/23/12 at 10:33 PM | #

Hi ncountryside.

I dont know if this helps, but for an earthquake with thankfully very few deaths this was widely reported with a real sense of sadness for what was lost and concern for what could be gone next.

Another big bill that Italy didnt need.

I suspect Greece cannot be supported any longer and will have to disconnect from the Euro to in effect devalue and grow its way back. Expect intense new pressure on Portugal and Spain and Italy to do the same.

A man-made disaster for sure. One of the rules of thumb in the creation of common markets is: Dont ever connect two disparate countries before bringing the “lower-level” ones up to speed.

And if they go ahead anyway (as the EC did in a number of cases) dont, whatever you do, move to a common currency without a common framework and commitment to grow all the parts, and a willingness of the “richest” parts to keep subsiding all the others.

Thank goodness a common currency for NAFTA is a very long way away. (NAFTA = US + Canada + Mexico.)

The “rich” parts of the United States send hundreds of billions of dollars to the “poor” parts every year via the federal revenue transfer but it all happens within one country and most people dont even know. (Especially not the receivers!)

There’s a lot more to say on this. In certain important respects Italy really is flying blind. Maybe a post with some tips could help. Yet again I would like to note that this vital area of macro management is where Meredith seemed headed for.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/24/12 at 01:54 PM | #

Friday noon. Maybe really good news for Europe and stock prices could possibly reflect this before close on Friday.

There’s breaking talk of a possible deal between Angela Merkel and other leaders in Europe, who she seemed to be losing with her hard line, along with the parliamentary opposition in Berlin which wants movement.

It would involve the issuing of many billions worth of redemption bonds backed by all the countries’ gold. A kind of mini gold standard inducing in bond buyers a high level of trust.

Just about all that gold sits 100 feet underground here in New York, under the NY Federal Reserve near Wall Street. The new Fort Knox. You can actually make a booking to go and look at it if you want.

When one country’s central bank buys gold from another’s, it is merely moved across the room to the new country’s vault. If this works, Greek elections 17 June may confirm Greece stays on the Euro.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/25/12 at 07:30 PM | #

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