Culture Minister Dario
Franceschini on Thursday said that 293 cultural heritage assets
were damaged at the epicentre of Wednesday's earthquake, of
which 50 were seriously damaged or had collapsed.
He said the number was likely to increase given the scope
of the area affected by the quake.
The figure came from a Carabinieri cultural heritage
protection unit, which arrived on site Wednesday morning to
begin assessing damage.
Franceschini said the challenge is to rebuild the historic villages to anti-seismic standards while maintaining their characteristic appearance.
"Those places must go back to being how they were just hours ago," he said.
"Amatrice was listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy. It's a challenge, but Italy owes it to those communities".
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