Venice Frick Map

Text by Professor Nigel Pollard, Swansea University

The materials in the BSR collection include many of the maps of Italian cities, marked with their cultural sites, that were produced by a committee of the American Council of Learned Societies for military use. These were the predecessors of the ‘no-strike’ lists used by modern armed forces in attempts to limit damage to cultural property. This example, of Venice, has the cultural sites on the map keyed to lists identifying them as churches, palaces and institutions like museums and galleries. The ‘cultural intelligence’ it presented was used as the basis for ‘Operation Bowler’ an Allied air attack in March 1945 against German shipping in Venice harbour that was conducted without damage to the sites marked. These maps are also known as ‘Frick maps’. The BSR archive also has copies of some of the related typescript lists of cultural sites produced by another American civilian group, based at Harvard University.
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