Report Sounds Alarm over ‘Diversity’ Clause of European Cultural Heritage Treaty

A picture taken on January 26, 2016 shows a visitor walking past an ancient Roman marble statue at Rome's Capitoline Museum (Musei Capitolini) on Capitol Hill. Italy's desire to court visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani extended to covering up classical nude sculptures in the Capitoline Museum, where he met Prime …
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

An Italian newspaper has warned that a “diversity” clause in a Council of Europe cultural heritage treaty could “erase the true identity” of Italy as it demands “respect for the diversity of interpretations”.

The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society was initially passed in 2005, but so far only ten nations have ratified the treaty into national law. Italy has not been one of them, so far, along with France, Sweden, Germany, and Spain.

The treaty, also known as the Faro Convention, is set to be voted on in the Italian parliament soon, according to newspaper Il Giornale, which has warned that a certain “diversity” clause could impact Italy’s culture.

The paper takes aim at Section II, Article 7, of the treaty, specifically the statement to “encourage reflection on the ethics and methods of presentation of the cultural heritage, as well as respect for diversity of interpretations”.

Article 7 goes on to say that it will also “establish processes for conciliation to deal equitably with situations where contradictory values are placed on the same cultural heritage by different communities”.

An example of “contradictory values” offered by the paper is the 2016 visit to Rome by Iranian President Hassan Rohani, which caused controversy when the government, then headed by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, covered up many Italian masterpieces to not offend the Iranian President.

In 2019, a cemetery in the city of Bologna went even further, installing motorised curtains to block the view of Christian symbols during services for other religious denominations.

Offensive statues have been a focal topic in recent weeks following Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the globe in the wake of the death of U.S. citizen George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis.

In the UK alone, a statue of Bristol philanthropist Edward Colston, who profited in part from slavery, was toppled and thrown in a nearby river, while earlier this week London Mayor Sadiq Khan ordered the removal of a 207-year-old statue of Robert Milligan over links to the slave trade.

Far-left activists have since released a hit-list of statues across the UK they would like to see removed or toppled, a list that includes former kings and even former Prime Minister Charles, Earl Grey who helped abolish the Atlantic slave trade.

Several statues in Scotland are also on the list. Despite the publication of the plans of the extremists, Scottish police told Breitbart London they had no intention of guarding or protecting the statues.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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