Art. 25. Preliminary verification of the archaeological interest

1. For the purposes of the implementation of Article 28, paragraph 4 of the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code included in legislative decree n. 42 of 22 January 2004, for works subjected to the implementation of provisions in this Code, contracting authorities or entities shall submit to the territorially competent supervisor, a copy of the feasibility project of the intervention or an excerpt thereof sufficient for archaeological purposes, including the results of geologic and archaeological preliminary enquiries, with particular attention to the available bibliographic and repository data, to the results of scouting aimed at land observation, as well as, for works in network, to photo-interpretations. Contracting authorities or entities shall gather and elaborate this documentation through archaeological departments of Universities, or through subjects possessing a Master's Degree and Specialization in Archaeology or a PhD in Archaeology. The submission of the abovementioned documentation is not required for interventions not involving a new construction or digs at different levels than those already occupied by existing artefacts.

2. At the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism shall be established a specific list, accessible to all interested parties, of the academic archaeological institutes and subjects possessing the required qualification. By means of a decree of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, having heard a representation of the academic archaeological departments, the criteria for the maintenance of that decree shall be determined, however providing for modalities of participation for all the concerned subjects. Until the date of entry into force of this Code, Article 216, paragraph 7 shall apply.

3. Where, on the basis of the submitted elements and other available information, the supervisor detects the existence of an archaeological in the areas subject to planning, may justifiably require, within 30 days from the reception of the project of feasibility or excerpt thereof referred to in paragraph 1, the submission of the intervention to the procedure provided in paragraphs 8 and ff. For projects of great infrastructural works or works in network, the time limit for the request of the procedure of preliminary verification of the archaeological interest shall be of 60 days.

3, In case of incompleteness of the submitted documentation or need of further preliminary insights, the supervisor, also by digital means, shall require documentary integration or convene the official responsible of the procedure in order to gather the necessary integrative information. The request of integration and information shall suspend the time limit referred to in paragraph 3 until they are submitted.

4. Against the request referred to in paragraph 3 the administrative appeal referred to in Article 16 of the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code may be lodged.

5. Where the supervisor has not requested the activation of the procedure referred to in paragraphs 8 and ff. within the time limits set out in paragraph 3, or that procedure is concluded with a negative result, the execution of archaeological tests shall be only possible in case of subsequent acquisition of new information or of emersion, during the works, of new archaeologically relevant elements which may lead to the conclusion that the subsistence of an archaeological site is likely. In that case the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism simultaneously proceeds to the request of preliminary tests, the communication of the initiation of the process of verification or the declaration of cultural interest within the meaning of Articles 12 and 13 of the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape.

6. Paragraphs 1 to 6 shall not apply to archaeological areas and parks referred to in Article 101 of the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape, for whom the authorization and precautionary powers thereby provided remain unaffected, including the entitlement to prescribe the execution, at the expense of the awarding authority for the public work, of archaeological tests. This is also without prejudice to the powers provided for in Article 28, paragraph 2, of the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape as well as the authorization and precautionary powers provided for the zones of archaeological interest, within the meaning of Article 142, paragraph 1, letter m) of the same Code.

7. The procedure of preliminary verification of archaeological interest shall be articulated in phases constituting progressive levels of insight of the archaeological enquire. The execution of the subsequent phase of the enquire shall be subjected to the emergence of significant archaeological elements as a result of the previous phase. The procedure of preliminary verification of archaeological interest shall consist of the completion of the following enquires and on the redaction of the documents integrating the feasibility project:

a) execution of core drillings;

b) geophysical and geochemical explorations;

c) archaeological tests and, where necessary, execution of surveys and digs, also to an extent that ensures a sufficient sampling of the area concerned by the works.

8. The procedure shall be concluded within a time limit set by the supervisor in relation to the extension of the concerned area, with the redaction of the final archaeological report, approved by the supervisor territorially competent. The report shall contain an analytic description of the enquiries that have been carried out, with the following relevant results, and shall lay down the following requirements:

a) contests in which the stratigraphical dig directly exhausts the exigency of safeguard;

b) contests not emphasizing exhibits constituting an unitary structural complex, with a scarce level of conservation for whom interventions of burial, dis-installation, removal, reassembling and musealisation, in another site with respect to the site of discovery;

c) complexes whose conservation cannot otherwise be ensured that in contextualized form through the integral in-site maintenance.

9. For the execution of archaeological tests and digs in the framework of the procedure referred to in the previous paragraph, the official responsible of the procedure may justifiably reduce, after having reached an agreement with the territorially competent archaeological supervisory body, the levels of planning, as well as the contents of the planning, with particular reference to data, scripts and design documents already exhibited during the procedure.

10. In the hypotheses referred to in paragraph 9, letter a), the procedure of preliminary verification of archaeological interest shall be considered to be concluded with negative outcome and the lack of archaeological interest in the area concerned by the works shall be ascertained. In the hypotheses referred to in paragraph 9, letter b), the supervisory body shall determine the measures necessary to ensure the knowledge, conservation and protection of the archaeologically relevant exhibits, without prejudice to any safeguard measures to be adopted pursuant to the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape, in relation to individual findings or their contest. In cases referred to in paragraph 9, letter c), the requirements shall be included in the dispositions of subjection to safeguard in the area concerned by the findings and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism shall initiate the procedure of declaration within the meaning of Articles 12 and 13 of the abovementioned Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape.

11. The procedure of preliminary verification of archaeological interest shall be conducted under the direction of the archaeological supervisory body territorially competent. Any expense shall be borne by the contracting authority or entity.

12. By means of a decree of the President of the Council of Ministers, upon proposal of the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, in accordance with the Minister for Infrastructures and Transports, by 31 December 2017, the guidelines aimed at ensuring the speed, effectiveness and efficacy of the procedure set out in this Article shall be adopted. By means of that same decree the simplified procedures, with clear timelines, shall be identified in order to ensure the safeguard of the archaeological heritage, taking into account the public interest underlying the realization of the work.

13. For the interventions subject to the procedure set out in this Article, the supervisor, within 30 days from the request in Article 3, shall conclude a specific agreement with the contracting authority or entity in order to regulate the forms of coordination and cooperation with the official responsible of the procedure and the offices of the contracting authority or entity. In the agreement, the contracting authorities may graduate the complexity of the procedure set out in this Article, with reference to the typology and entity of the works to be executed, also by reducing the phases and contents of the procedure. The agreement shall also regulate the forms of documentation and divulgation of the results of the enquiry, through the digitalization of gathered data, the production of scientific and didactic publications, possible virtual reconstructions aimed at the functional comprehension of ancient complexes, possible displays and exhibitions aimed at the diffusion and publicity of the enquiries that have been carried out.

14. Contracting authorities or entities, in case of significant production centers, works of significant impact for the territory or initiation of business activities capable of producing positive effects on the economy or employment, already included in the triennial program referred to in Article 21, may recur to the procedure referred to in the regulation adopted in implementation of Article 4 of law n. 124 of 7 August 2015, in case of excessive expected duration of the procedure in paragraphs 8 and ff. or when the time limits fixed in the agreement in paragraph 14 have not been respected.

15. Regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano shall regulate the procedure of preliminary verification of archaeological interest for the works within their competences on the basis of what provided for in this Article.