The Italian Constitution is a real masterpiece of art. Italians who love the enormous artistic riches of Italy should be proud of the protection that our constitution gives to art and cultural heritage. Article 9 of the constitution states: “The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. Protect the beauty of the nation and the historic and artistic patrimony of the nation.”
On 26 July 2017, the Republic lost a commander who dedicated his life to the mission of protecting Italy’s art and cultural patrimony with all of his heart and soul. General Roberto Conforti, who passed at the age of 79 years old, served in the Carabinieri for more than forty-two years. He started his career in the Carabinieri in 1961 fighting organized crime. In 1991, he took command of the art crimes unit called the TPC (Tutela Patrimonio Culturale) until he retired in 2002. Under his command, the TPC had over three hundred carabinieri assigned to it who worked diligently to safeguard and protect the artistic and historic patrimony of Italy. During his career, his unit recovered thousands of works of art that were stolen from private collections, galleries and museums, and churches, as well as artifacts trafficked from illicit archeological sites, and they became one of the most respected art crimes investigative units in the world.
Many Italians really appreciate Article 1 of the constitution that states that “Italy is a democratic republic, founded on work.” We can see that General Roberto Conforti’s career was a perfect fusion of both article 1 and article 9 in that his daily hard work was ardently dedicated to the protection of the artistic and cultural patrimony of Italy.