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May 3, 2024

Carabinieri Command: Safeguarding Italy's Cultural Heritage for 55 years

Fifty-five years ago today, on May 3, 1969, a crucial chapter in the protection of Italy's rich cultural heritage was written with the establishment of the special department of the Arma dei Carabinieri known as the "Nucleo Tutela Patrimonio Artistico." Since its inception, this unit has been entrusted with the vital task of safeguarding and protecting the nation's artistic legacy. Over the decades, it has evolved into the esteemed "Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage," earning recognition both nationally and internationally for its unwavering dedication and exemplary work.

At the core of its operations lies a commitment to investigative, informational, and analytical functions aimed at combatting the illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts. Central to its success is the utilisation of the Leonardo Database of illicitly stolen cultural heritage, the largest repository of its kind globally. This database, containing comprehensive information on assets, primarily of Italian origin, and serves as a powerful tool in the ongoing efforts to locate and repatriate stolen treasures.

Moreover, the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage extends its expertise and support to other law enforcement agencies, fostering collaboration and synergy in the fight against cultural crime. Its partnership with the Ministero della Cultura ensures a comprehensive and coordinated approach to preserving Italy's cultural legacy for future generations.

As we commemorate their milestone, we salute the men and women of the TPC for their tireless efforts in protecting their country's cultural heritage. Their dedication serves as a model in the ongoing battle against the illicit trade in cultural property and affirms Italy's commitment to preserving its cultural identity.