Environmental protection was proclaimed by some important verdicts by Italian courts as a primary and absolute value resulting from the combination of two articles of the Constitution of Italy: Art. 9 concerning landscape protection, and Art. 32 concerning the citizens’ right to health as individuals and as community. Both articles belong to the fundamental principles of the Italian state. They define a boundary that can and should become the bulwark of a strenuous defense of Italy’s environment and its landscape. These principles are also connected to two important notions—the rights of future generations and what we call ‘community of life’—that still echo certain time-honored ethical, philosophical and legal ideas such as ‘common good’ and publica utilitas. Not only the legal protection of the environment, bur more importantly, our responsibility as citizens fall under the rubric of ‘common good’.
Salvatore Settis is Director of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he is a Professor of the History of Art and Classical Archaeology. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Analysis, Research, Protection, Technologies and Economy for cultural heritage. He was Visiting Professor at several European and American universities and served as a Director at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, as President of the Senior Council for Cultural and Landscape at the Italian Ministry of Culture. He is a member of the European Research Council, of the Advisory Board of the Enciclopedia Italiana, of the Committee of Experts for Research Policy at the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research. He has published several books including: Battaglie senza eroi (Electa, 1980), and for the publishers Einaudi his works include Italia S.p.A. L’assalto al patrimonio culturale (2002), Artemidoro (2008), Artisti e committenti fra Quattrocento e Cinquecento (2010), Paesaggio Costituzione cemento (2010) and Azione popolare. Un manuale di autodifesa (2012).