Governance and Funding

The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome is governed by a board of 15 ambassadors accredited to Italy and resident in Rome, most of them from countries with large Protestant or Greek and Russian Orthodox communities.

In 2005, at the then Director’s request, ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters in Rome, made recommendations to the Assembly of ambassadors for the long-term management and preservation of the Cemetery. The board of ambassadors accepted these recommendations which are now being implemented.

One of its recommendations was the appointment of a permanent advisory committee of experts to advise on finance, legal matters, fund raising, conservation and art history – this committee currently has five members. Additional members may be appointed by the board as necessary.

In 2008, following advertisement of the post, the Assembly appointed the current Director, Amanda Thursfield, who reports to its President, aided by the Advisory Committee. The Assembly meets twice a year to consider progress reports and the accounts of the Cemetery audited in accordance with the requirements of Italian law.

At present the cemetery has four sources of income.

    1. From people who buy concessions for burial spaces in the cemetery. These last for 30 years and are renewable.

    2. From the annual fees paid by the concession-holders for upkeep and maintenance.

    3. From burial charges. 

    4. From donations. These include voluntary contributions from visitors as well as donations from embassies, private foundations, and Friends and legacies [How You Can Help Us]

Some two-thirds of the historic graves no longer provide any income. The high cost of conserving and restoring these therefore falls to the Cemetery. The mixed success in meeting this large maintenance task had been such that in 2005 the World Monuments Fund added the Cemetery to its Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World. Since then a fund-raising appeal has been launched through the founding of The Friends of the Cemetery. Funds raised from Friends are held in a separate bank account under the control of the Assembly, and are devoted to such costs as tomb restoration, tree cutting and printing of a regular newsletter.

Who can be buried nowadays in the Cemetery? [FAQ/burial policy]