The Italian government had come under severe criticism today for the standards of its building construction in the 1600’s. This comes in the wake of the earthquake that has left 270 dead in the area near Perugia, mainly due to medieval structures not being built to withstand magnitude 6.2 quakes. 

The Herald went back to 1652 and spoke to architect Mario Carte who has been on a build in Amatrice and asked him what sort of resilience he has built in to protect against earthquakes,

“Well I put a veranda up there, a few cornices, and painted it a nice pink and white. I know not of these ‘flexible materials’ or ‘minimum construction standards’ of which you speak.   It’s a good house and I pray that it should please God enough so that he won’t make the ground shake. But if it falls down and kills all the people inside we shall praise him for his plan and build another. Maybe even on that large smoking mountain over there, with the nice views.”

We pushed Mr Carte to answer for why his buildings should be so shoddy that they fall down a mere 400 years later, but he was busy calling us witches and building a large fire.