€12 Million Restoration for L’Aquila Basilica

Santa Maria Collemaggio Basilica before the earthquake Photo: Stemonitis via Wikimedia Commons
Santa Maria Collemaggio Basilica before the earthquake Photo: Stemonitis via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, the mayor of the Italian town of L’Aquila announced a plan for the restoration of the 13th century Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemagio. The €12 million ($15.8 million) project will be funded by Italian energy group Eni.

In 2009, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale struck the Abruzzo region of central Italy, badly damaging the town of L’Asquila. The Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemagio was amongst the historic buildings that suffered significant damage.

The Basilica is famous for its imposing Romanesque-Gothic architecture and its links to Pope Celestine V. An annual ceremony marking his 1294 coronation is still celebrated by Catholic pilgrims today.

Five years after the earthquake, a plan has been drafted for the restoration of the historic cathedral. The regional heritage authority is to oversee the design, construction and security of the site.

The universities of Milan, Rome, and L’Aquila and the energy group Eni will provide technical assistance in order to improve the long-term earthquake resistance of the building. A contractor is due to be announced in December, with a projected completion date in 2016.

The town Mayor, Massimo Cialente praised Eni for “adopting” a national monument and told journalists that it was “a model which could repeat itself with other Italian heritage sites.”


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