The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today voiced concern about damage caused to the Castello di Moncalieri, in the Italian Province of Turin, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997.
A fire broke out on 5 April causing severe damage to the royal apartments and to several floors in one of the watchtowers of the building, a former residence of the House of Savoy.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of an important part of this royal residence," said the Director-General. "It is, however, a relief that the fire brigades were able to prevent even greater destruction," he added, calling for an urgent assessment of the damage with a view to restoring the castle.
Built in 1100 and extended over several centuries, the Castello di Moncalieri was the main family residence of the House of Savoy from the 16th to the 18th centuries. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List, along with several other royal residences, as bearing testimony to monumental architecture of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as a material expression of the prevailing doctrine of absolute monarchy of the time.