Booklet from Centre Italy

Text by Professor Nigel Pollard, Swansea University

The Lists of Protected Monuments series of booklets was produced by the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives in the spring of 1944 to supersede earlier lists generated by US civilian academics on the one hand, and the British War Office on the other. The fact that these were printed, rather than typescript like the earlier lists, meant they could be distributed more widely among military personnel and units. They also represented a compromise between the lengthy and very detailed American ‘Harvard’ lists, and the shorter but more practical British ‘Zone Handbook’ lists. Like the ‘Harvard’ lists, they indicate the relative importance of cultural and educational sites, buildings and institutions considered worthy of special treatment with a star-based ranking system. They also include a grid reference for the site (e.g. G1559) keyed to Allied military maps. The preface to each volume also includes a copy of a letter from British general Alexander, the commander of Allied forces in the central Mediterranean emphasising the importance of protecting cultural heritage, and a copy of the Allied administrative instruction that sets out practical measures for its protection.