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Piane di Navelli, Abruzzo, Italy, 1998

Photo: Piane di Navelli

An abandoned church looms above a field of poppies in the mountainous region of Abruzzo. Left to silently crumble away, this church is just one of innumerable artifacts that must compete for restoration in a country that is literally littered with priceless works of art.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Italy's Endangered Art," August 1999, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta

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