Ismail Serageldin


On the Value of Cultural Inheritance

11/10/2016 | Rome


In the city of Florence,  in 1966, the flooding of the river Arno, killed 101 people and damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books.  Marking the 50th anniversary of this tragedy, the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei, held an international  conference ,  under the title of “Florence 1966-2016 – Resilience of Art Cities to Natural Catastrophes: The Role of Academies”,  to tackle  the impact of natural catastrophes  on cultural heritage and the tools that societies have to set up to enhance resilience of cities of art. The conference discussions encompassed: predictive tools needed to forecast the occurrence of hazards;  engineering tools to improve protection of cities of art from the impact of natural disasters;  development of modern restoration techniques;   economic assessment of the 'value' of cultural inheritance. Invited to participate in the conference Serageldin’s contribution was on the topic of "the economic assessment of the 'value' of cultural inheritance to motivate the need for the special attention that societies will have to devote to cities of art".  When he was Vice President of the World Bank, Serageldin had designed methodologies and techniques of this topic which led to approaches that later became the part of the policy of the World Bank.


The conference was jointly sponsored by  the Inter Academy Partnership (IAP), a global network of the world’s science academies, launched in 1993, comprising 107 academies.  Its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues




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