I . INTRODUCTION In 1909, when the 20'h century was still young and Europe had not yet experienced the tragedy of two world wars, the Italian avant-guard artist Tommaso Marinetti published the Manifesto of his new-born movement "Il Futurismo". In flamboyant style and exuberant overtones, Marinetti glorified war as "the sole hygiene of the world". He advocated the destruction of "museums, libraries and academies" as institutions reduced to "cemeteries where dead bodies rest in sinister promiscuity". His agenda was to link art to the pulse of the new technological State. Thus he celebrated progress and action as intrinsic values. A decade later, his ideas would provide the cultural roots of the nascent fascist ideology. Marinetti's Manifesto never became a programme of action. On the contrary, museums have continued to thrive, belying the idea that art can ever be dead. From the devastation brought by two world wars and an infmite number of local wars, much cultural heritage has risen again, like the mythical phoenix from its own ashes. Monuments have been restored, historic sites rebuilt, centres skilfully reconstructed. Since the end of the 20`� century, interest in cultural heritage has further intensified, raising concerns that the pursuit of
The Italian Yearbook of International Law Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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