Renzo Piano to Aid in Reconstruction Efforts Following Italy Earthquake

The architect wants new anti-seismic requirements.

Architect Renzo Piano speaks onstage during the Whitney Museum of American Art Press Preview in 2015 Photo: D Dipasupil/Getty Images.

The preeminent Italian architect and engineer Renzo Piano has been asked by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to help with reconstruction efforts in central Italy after last week’s 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated the region’s cultural heritage, the Guardian reports.

The massive earthquake that hit central Italy on Wednesday, August 24 has severely rattled the mountain towns of Amatrice, Accumoli, and Pescara del Tronto. The death toll currently stands at 290, an estimated 2,500 Italian citizens have been displaced from their homes, and the medieval structures that have drawn tourists to the region for years have been reduced to ruins.

Speaking to the Guardian, Piano said: “Reconstruction should be coordinated in the wisest and fastest way. It’s right to do it quickly but even better to be done well and above all with the involvement of the affected people.”

On Monday, following a meeting with Piano where they discussed temporary housing options for displaced citizens and the reconstruction of the medieval towns, Prime Minister Renzi unveiled a national plan for earthquake and risk prevention.

Firefighters recover a religious painting from a damaged church in the village of Rio, some 10 kms from the central Italian village of Amatrice, on August 28, 2016. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

Firefighters recover a religious painting from a damaged church in the village of Rio, some 10 kms from the central Italian village of Amatrice, on August 28, 2016. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

Piano has stressed the importance of introducing new laws to ensure structures are earthquake resistant in the future, saying, “We have to act quickly, with the utmost urgency. Anti-seismic requirements must be inserted in the laws of the country to make our homes safe, just as it’s compulsory for a car to have brakes that work.”

The 78 year old architect has worked in the reconstruction of damaged historical sites before; he was goodwill ambassador for UNESCO from 2005 to 2014, and has in the past helped rebuilding efforts in the city of Valletta in Malta, and the center of his hometown Genoa.


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