promoting cultural heritage and conservation

Posts tagged “Petition

Make History with us: Kickstarter and Gladiator Tomb iPetition Update

Happy New Year!  2013 has already started to ring in fierce! With forty-eight hours left in our Kickstarter campaign “Digging History”, we are proud to share the news that we have 63 backers and have surpassed our target goal.  In fact, we are more than pleased (does “jumping up and down” give you a good idea?) with the amount of support we have had over the past four weeks- donations from every level and inspiring group of people spreading the word about our Kickstarter campaign on the streets and through the airwaves.  Reaching our goal of $10,000 in three weeks, and then surpassing it (we have now raised over $12,000), is a wonderful feeling!  Our feeling is that making history happens by the community, and as we move forward to outlining and organizing the production of Digging History, we look forward to acknowledging you- our supporters and donors.

What comes next?  Well, before we can really roll up our sleeves, we have a couple of days left to continue to raise funds.  We are pushing hard and reaching out (and asking readers those of you who have already donated) to do the same.   More funding will allow us to produce more (and that’s the true goal), to create a fun, accessible hub online that will truly serve to excite and teach K-12, colllege, professional, and the public at large about Rome.  Along with donating, another way to support our projects is also by spreading the word about what we do– in particular, our ipetition: Save the Gladiator Tomb– the quick update is that we have over 3000 signatures as we steadfastly approach our goal of 5000.  Please keep get your friends, friends of friends and acquaintances to sign.  Thank you to the following for their great mentions of these two projects:  Katie Parla of Parla Food, Unamericanaaroma.com, Italiannotebook.com, CNN and Ben Wedeman, Fathom Away and Russell Crowe.

~Darius Arya, Executive Director

dar[at]romanculture.org

Kickstarter


Save the Gladiator Tomb, Sign the iPetition

Reblogged from Executive Director Darius Arya’s blog DariusAryaDigs:

Please join me in voic­ing your con­cern for sav­ing the Gladiator’s Tomb, a unique cul­tural her­itage site that runs the risk of being reburied per­ma­nently for lack of fund­ing. Together with the AIRC, I am hop­ing to get 5,000 sig­na­tures on the iPe­ti­tion to save the Gladiator’s Tomb.

In 2008, on the Via Flaminia in the north­ern part of con­tem­po­rary Rome, archae­ol­o­gist found an impres­sive mar­ble mau­soleum, among other note­wor­thy tombs, along a well-preserved sec­tion of ancient road. The press was quick to call this par­tic­u­lar tomb “Tomb of the Glad­i­a­tor” since the tomb itself was comis­sioned by and for Mar­cus Non­ius Macri­nus, an prominent gen­eral under the reign of Mar­cus Aure­lius. Macri­nus’ life was par­al­leled in the Oscar-winning film Glad­i­a­tor (2000, Rid­ley Scott) with the general-then-gladiator char­ac­ter Max­imus mag­nif­i­cently played by Rus­sell Crowe. Upon its dis­cov­ery and nick­name, the world responded enthu­si­as­ti­cally because of its rela­tion­ship with the larger-than-life Max­imus, who rep­re­sented so much of Rome and cre­ated such enthu­si­asm for ancient Roman cul­ture, as well as the over­whelm­ingly impor­tant his­toric, archi­tec­tural, and epi­graph­i­cal qual­i­ties of the site itself.

Over the past decade and a half of liv­ing and work­ing in Rome, I have been for­tu­nate to visit the site on numer­ous occa­sions, and I am con­stantly struck by the enor­mity of the site-13,000 square meters in area, almost three American football fields. It is beau­ti­ful– both his­tor­i­cally and phys­i­cally. I think any­one that comes to the site can­not help but have an imme­di­ate con­nec­tion to the past. I am also in awe of the amount of mud that buried site thus pre­serv­ing it (45 feet in height)- it gives you an idea of both what the archae­ol­o­gists had to over­come but also how much lucky they were to even find it.

The superintendency’s recent (and almost abrupt) deci­sion to rebury the site for preser­va­tion is laud­able in that they want to pre­serve the site. How­ever, the his­tor­i­cal impor­tance of the site mer­its fur­ther atten­tion and exca­va­tion, not sim­ply cov­er­ing up. We have too much to lose here. If we have to pick and choose, this is one worth fight­ing for. Please join me in sign­ing and shar­ing this iPe­ti­tion now.


Bernie Frischer on the Petition to Protect Villa Adriana

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We are proud to publish Professor Bernard Frischer‘s op-ed piece on Protecting Hadrian’s Villa, an i-petition created by Frischer and sponsored by the American Institute for Roman Culture.  In less than a week, we have generated more than 2000 signatures, and are at 3650 signatures and counting.


 Hadrian’s Villa, the UNESCO World Heritage site near Tivoli is at risk. Here’s the background.

Rome has long used a garbage dump at a place called Malagrotta. In June 2011, the EU Commission ordered Malagrotta closed because of various violations of EU environmental regulations. Since then the Region of Lazio (the governmental unit in charge of Rome’s waste disposal) has been trying to find a new site. In September 2011, just two months before it fell from power, the Berlusconi government appointed Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro to be Extraordinary Commissioner of Waste Disposal for Lazio with special powers to confront the emergency situation. In October 2011 Pecoraro announced a plan to install a new 400-acre garbage dump at a locality called Corcolle, which is less than one mile from the site of Hadrian’s Villa. Needless to say, the prospect of bringing Rome’s daily garbage to the very doorstep of a precious World Heritage Site was greeted with alarm and opposition. The Italian Ministry of Culture and the Province of Rome are on record in opposition to the proposal as are various nearby cities (including Tivoli) and citizen groups.

On March 9, 2012, Corrado Clini, the Italian Minister for the Environment, intervened by calling a meeting of Pecoraro and other interested parties. They decided to examine all possible sites for the new dump site before going forward with Corcolle. On March 15, 2012, Lorenzo Ornaghi, the Minister for Culture in the Monti government, spoke out forcefully against the selection of Corcolle. But Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno was also quoted in the press the same day saying that the site of Corcolle was still under active consideration. Clini has called a follow-up meeting for March 22, 2012 at which it is expected that the fate of the Corcolle proposal will be decided.
On March 17, 2012, Rome’s daily newspaper, Il Messaggero ran an article that should send shivers up the spines of all lovers of antiquity. Here is my translation of the critical part:

GARBAGE EMERGENCY, A ‘YES’ OF THE TECHNICAL EXPERTS PUTS CORCOLLE AT RISK

by Maruro Evangelisti

“March 17, 2012, ROME – Among the documents which the collaborators of the Commissioner for Waste Disposal, Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro, are examining in meetings with the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and representatives of the Province of Rome, City of Rome, and Region of Lazio, there is a site plan. It shows the area of Corcolle (selected to be one of the new temporary garbage dumps) at a distance of 2 kilometers from Hadrian’s Villa. The land parcel belongs to the corporation Pozzalana srl.

“In another site plan the boundaries of the UNESCO site of Hadrian’s Villa are only 1200 meters away. And in the dossier of the staff of the Commissioner there is also a document dated 15 June 2010 from the Archaeological Superintendency of Rome in response to a request to install a rubbish dump in which the Superintendency affirms that the land is ‘archaeologically sterile.’ And the Superintendency expressed its approval.

“In contrast, in the course of the meeting of specialists which blocked the choice of Corcolle [i.e., several days ago--BF], the Cultural Ministry vetoed the choice of Corcolle.

“In a nutshell: for Pecoraro the candidacy of Corcolle has NOT been discarded. It is the only site among the seven under consideration that permits creation of the garbage dump by this autumn, if Corrado Clini, Minister of the Environment, gives his approval.

“Let’s be clear: suppose that on March 22, 2012 the government says ‘yes’ to the areas chosen by Pecoraro (Corcolle and Riano). For Corcolle there is already a preliminary plan of action. Land expropriation and a call for bids will be set in motion. The winner will have to present a final proposal. An environmental impact report will have to be filed.

“Before October-November 2012 the new garbage dump [at Corcolle- Hadrian's Villa--BF] will not be ready. For that to happen, an additional month will be needed. If the options of Corcolle and Riano are rejected and if a different site is chosen, then the whole process starts over from the beginning and much more time is needed [to get Rome's new garbage dump up and running]. In that case, even an extension until December 2012 of the use of the current dump site at Malagrotta would not be enough.”

Time is short. You can help by signing an internationally sponsored online petition appealing to Pecoraro and Clini to abandon the ill-conceived plan to put a huge garbage dump so close to Hadrian’s Villa. Over 3,600 people from all over the world have already added their names, including such notable figures as Architect Richard Meier; Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, former Director of the British School in Rome and Master of Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge; and Salvatore Settis, former Director of the Getty Research Center and Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. Sign today.

~Bernard Frischer, PhD

Photo from Wikipedia.


digostiaantica:

Great piece from Darius on Villa Adriana.

Originally posted on D a r i u s A r y a D i g s:

The shocking decision to create a massive landfill within a few hundred meters of Hadrian’s Villa, one of most well known, important cultural heritage sites in the world is, to say the least, astonishing.  See last December’s CBS news videofor a summary of the landfill project.

In light of the recent pummeling from the media that Italy has undergone due to the lamentable condition of the heritage management at Pompeii and the frequent fragments falling off the Colosseum in the past couple of years, it seems even more shocking to learn about the new plight of yet another world-famous site.

And, of course, in the face of it, one frequently asks, but what can I do?  What difference can I make?  With the decision announced late last year (to be confirmed this spring), there was not much time to act, either.   Luckily, a dear colleague and friend, Prof. Bernard…

View original 655 more words


No Joke: Protect Hadrian’s Villa

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What do you get when you put a 21st century landfill next to a nearly 2000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site?

[embarassing pause]

It seems like the joke is on us since the only punch line  is that for the past months, news outlets around the world have been reporting on a project to create a landfill near Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli outside Rome.  Yes, that beautiful and historic Roman site of unparalleled importance and scale just 40 minutes outside of Rome in nearby Tivoli, that amazing imperial villa which is noted as a magnificent example of Roman architecture that has resounded through the ages.  The current plan for a landfill seriously challenges the well-being of the site and other historic monuments in the vicinity, not to mention the socio-environmental affects it will have on the surrounding neighborhood.

Just a a few days ago,Bernard Frischer, professor of Classics at the University of Virginia and long-time supporter of the American Institute for Roman Culture, has started an onine petition to stop this development in an effort to raise more than a signifcant number of signatures proving global support of Hadrian’s Villa.  The AIRC is collaborating as sponsoring instituion of the petition and so far, more than 2000 people have signed, including countless professionals and experts from three continents and all areas of expertise, not just Roman Culture.  And we are not kidding around here.  Cultural Heritage is not a joke.

Please visit this site and blog for more information, make sure to sign the petition.
~ from American Institute for Roman Culture

www.saverome.org www.romanculture.org


Archaeology, Academics and Social Media

AIRC social media shot

Last week, I woke up to find that AIRC’s twitter account @AIRomanculture has surpassed 500 followers.  In an era where celebutantes, actors, sports heroes and gun-toting-fathers rack in thousands a day, 500 followers (in a few months) is merely a blink of the eye.  It’s not really even a number.  But for us, its a big deal.  Why?  Aren’t  archaeologists, classicists, latinists and any book-toting academics stereotypically nose-deep in text all the time?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Take a glimpse at my archaeo-academic desktop on any  morning.

Facebook, twitter, wordpress blog, Dr. Arya’s instagram.  These are a few of my favorite things.

My mornings mean connecting and researching in a world that used to be a bit hard enter into, if you aren’t on campus or at a conference. Reaching 500 followers means we are doing our our job to promote cultural heritage–  in other words, getting the word out there, keeping up a continuous dialog and searching out/collaborating with/introducing new people.  My world of colleagues and better yet friends has exploded out of Rome and into your computer. I may not know what you look like, but I know what you like and I like what you’re talking about.

Social Media is an incredible and relentless asset for the AIRC.  We’ve connected with former students, professors and professionals to find out what they are doing and where they are going, we help in keeping issues current (protecting Greece’s cultural heritage) and we’ve connected with people interested in many of our interests from our academic projects in archaeology, communications and Latin (just take a look at “Latin Tweet Ups”, Pipiatio Latina: aka a lot of people “speaking” Latin on twitter)– to our personal interests such as sustainability in Rome, how Ancient Rome appears in pop culture, gastrotourism, sci-fi literature and art crimes.

So yes, we’ve jumped head first into a kind of contemporary archaeology where history is happening instantaneously.  To be honest, I can’t keep up with everything we are “supposed” to be doing or not doing.  @Airomanculture has committed the twitter faux pas of following more than our number of followers, but I am pretty sure that we are truly reading everyone we are following– and that their tweets are great.  And yes, we do enjoy retweeting information because there are a lot of great people out there on Twitter and Facebook (and I guess Pinterest now) who are sharing great information? Does that make us less personable? I don’t know and I hope not.    What I do know is that all of this is good for us, for any academic who may be shy (like me) or not have the time, money, resources, connections, patience to stumble across something new, useful and otherwise mind-blowing.   And here’s an update: thanks to Twitter, signatures to stop the proposed landfill next to Villa Adriana,aka Protect Hadrian’s Villa petition, will hopefully surpass 2000 as of March 12, 2012.  Sign if you haven’t!

What do you think?


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