Cultural heritage is fragile property that can deteriorate
both slowly and rapidly due to human and natural phenomena.
Although this damage cannot be stopped completely, your behavior
can help to delay this process. How can you contribute to
the preservation of this patrimony for future generations?
Here are a few suggestions:
• Willingly accept certain bans (do not touch, do not
photograph, do not run) or restrictions (the closing of certain
places, obligatory routes, the presentation of art works by
rotation, controlled number of visitors, etc.). These measures
have not been taken to annoy you, but rather to limit the
negative impact of crowds on places that are ancient and so
much more fragile than they appear.
• Remember that every touch, and even the most innocent
tiny shake becomes harmful when repeated by 1,000, 10,000,
100,000 people. Never think of a single action, but one that
is repeated a thousand times for many days.
• During your visit, consider that you are walking on
stones that are sometimes more than a thousand years old.
Wear suitable shoes, and keep high heels and studded soles
for another occasion.
• When you find yourself in a closed and crowded area,
such as a tomb or a frescoed chapel, pay attention to your
backpack: you could brush up against the walls and ruin the
• Statues, monuments and ancients walls are not meant
to be rock faces to scale. They have survived over the centuries
and are old and fragile; they could crumble from the weight
of your body. Avoid climbing on top of them to take photos
or to be photographed.
• Although the desire to be immortal is an innate element
of the human nature, resist the temptation to engrave your
name or to express your feelings on columns, monuments, and
the frescoes in the places you are visiting.
• Would you like to take home as a souvenir a piece
of the mosaic you have admired so much? How many visitors
with the same wish would it take before the mosaic disappeared
• Whoever removes cultural property of any kind (a
marble fragment, a small terracotta vase, a coin, etc.) open
the channel to systematic theft and illicit trafficking of
art works. Beware of buying objects of unknown origin and
do not attempt to take them out of the country; in most countries
you risk serious penalties.
• Historic and archaeological site are not dustbins,
take your rubbish with you!
• Be respectful of the atmosphere of places that invite
meditation and silence, by avoiding any noise pollution (shouts,
honking, radios, cellular, phones, etc.)
The protection of our cultural heritage depends on
each one of us, and concerns us all.