Constructions of Identity and the Carabinieri Force for the Protection of Cultural Heritage

The Carabinieri Force for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, a special unit of the Italian federal police force, combats crimes against cultural heritage within the Italian territory and has an international impact through its activities. As a part of the Italian Ministry of Culture and with its emphasis on the protection of national heritage, the Carabinieri Force for the Protection of Cultural Heritage naturally privileges Italy’s construction of its own national identity by, for example, frequently playing a role in the return of Italian cultural property to the Italian territory from abroad. This presentation problematizes the role which the Carabinieri Force for the Protection of Cultural Heritage plays in enforcing the Italian State’s decisions to repatriate and return certain items of cultural property and not others.