Luigi Malnati Maria Grazia Fichera Sonia Martone

The Protection of the Italian Archaeological Heritage: The Limits of the Current Legislation and new Proposals for Reform of the Code



The text is inspired by the proposals that the then General Direction of Antiquities had drawn up at the establishment of a Commission to reform the Code of Cultural Heritage. It was noted that the current text of the law on archeology did not present substantial innovations compared to the Law of 1939. The current conception of the discipline and the idea of the value of the archaeological heritage have changed soundly over time and replacing a merely financial evaluation with an estimate of the historical context of the archaeological finds. Various articles of the Code are examined and many substantial changes are proposed in the definition of the archaeological heritage to be protected and in the part concerning the declarations of interest and activities of preventive archeology. Some problems still present are also addressed, such as the destination of the archaeological finds from the excavations wich are in the museums, including through the deposit, and the issue of loans for exhibitions. The articles that in the Code relate to the excavations and discoveries are analyzed with an updated point of view both about the excavations under concession both regard to accidental discoveries, emphasizing the relevance of the discovery's context compared to the acquisition of material goods. It also proposes a more precise definition of different concepts of "park", "area" and "archaeological site".


  • Archeology;
  • Reform of Code;
  • Context;
  • Archaeological Finds


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