THE “SACRI MONTI OF PIEDMONT AND LOMBARDY”, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
Alpine valleys, hills, vineyards, lake views are the natural settings embracing the Sacred Mounts of the Alps, seven in Piedmont and two in Lombardy, that with their enchanting landscapes, history and architectures hosting precious works of art have been included in the UNESCO world heritage list since July 2003. The Sacred Mounts consist of prestigious architectural complexes standing on hill tops and structured in a series of chapels with paintings and sculptures representing Christ’s story, Holy Mary and the Saints’ life or the mysteries of the Rosary. The works by famous artists from the XV-XIX century include life-size statues reproducing gestures, features and expressions of impressive realism. This communicative pattern became quite popular after the Catholic Reformation to tell in an enthralling and evocative way the sacred story, always under the watchful eye of the Church. Their story started at the end of the XV century with the Sacred Mount of Varallo, where a Franciscan Friar, Bernardino Caimi, wanted to reproduce a few locations of the Holy Land connected to Jesus Christ’s life. First-rate artists of the Piedmontese and Lombard cultural panorama contributed to the success of the project. These locations have become destinations for art-centered tourism where nature and culture celebrate the values of spirituality.
SERIAL SITE AND COORDINATION STRUCTURE
Given the variety and complexity of the subjects involved in the management of the UNESCO site of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, the following bodies have been set up and operate to ensure homogeneity and coordination of activities:
all the subjects involved in the management are represented (Mibac, Regions, Diocese, Municipalities, managing bodies, religious bodies); expresses opinions and proposals on matters and topics that it considers of particular interest for the UNESCO site, as well as for the context in which the Sacri Monti are inserted; examines, even for information or reconnaissance purposes only, problems related to the UNESCO site, its relations with third parties, the quality and type of services offered and the planning of interventions; verifies the implementation of the activities envisaged in the Unitary Management Plan; carries out its activities in coordination with the Permanent Operational Working Group;
Permanent Operational Working Group:
it is made up of representatives of the Regions, of Mibac, of Ente di Gestione dei Sacri Monti and of the Lombard Sacri Monti; defines technical-operational guidelines, formulates unitary enhancement, protection and management programs, formulates economic plans, collaborates in finding resources and in permanent management monitoring, in the publication and presentation of a periodic report on the protection, conservation and management;
is based in the Piedmont region1; organizes, plans and manages the various work activities, manages external relations;
Permanent Study and Documentation Center:
is based at the Sacro Monte di Crea; carries out study, research and documentation activities on the UNESCO site and on European devotional complexes.
The Piedmont Region is the reference subject for the UNESCO site for the procedures referred to the Law 77/2006.