Aim & Scope
Today the cultural heritage of many countries undergoes serious
risks, because of neglect, environmental pollution,
natural disasters, for acts of war or terrorism, as recent episodes due
to ISIS show. A simple Google search with the
keywords 'risk / danger cultural heritage' produces more than
A third of the natural heritage sites is in danger, according to an estimate by Sarah Zielinski (smithsonian.com, November 14, 2014, A Third of Natural World Heritage Sites Are in Danger: From the Florida Everglades to Africa's first national park, many crucial protected areas are in serious trouble). Eight percent of all sites is considered to be in critical condition on the basis of a survey of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, which plays an advisory role for the program on the UNESCO World Heritage (World Heritage program).
UNESCO, in fact, in addition to managing the list of World Heritage sites, maintains a constantly updated list of locations – both cultural and natural - at risk (World Heritage in danger by UNESCO, see Appendix).
The World Heritage Committee prepares and publishes this list including sites exposed to serious and / or specific dangers, such as development (unsustainable) projects, actual or likely armed conflicts, hazards, disasters and natural calamities.
But not only monuments, archaeological sites and artifacts, works of art, furniture and properties like paintings on the wall and frescoes, parks and nature reserves, museums, archives and libraries are at risk - both natural and man-made -, even the intangible cultural heritage, the culture itself in its most deep and wide expression runs the very serious danger of oblivion. How many traditions, oral histories, music and songs, rituals and ceremonies have been lost over time? How many shows, art performances, interpretations – at their time widely known and celebrated - have lost all traces? And the concept itself of culture is not in danger today, often for a misguided sense of multiculturalism?
For this new journal - the first in the international scene to deal specifically with culture and cultural heritage in danger - is entitled Memoria - Memory, where the double name refers to the two universal languages of scholars in which it is expressed in the different ages, from the Middle Ages to the present, Latin and then English. Moreover, since 'Memoria' has the same meaning in Italian, the language of the country where the Renaissance originated, it is the best.