January 6, 2022, SAN FRANCISCO– The San Francisco–Assisi Sister City Program will partner with Bay Area Nonprofit Roots of Peace to Restore an Ancient Fresco in Spirit of St. Francis the Gardener.
On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the launching of Roots of Peace (1997–2022), a humanitarian nonprofit dedicated to demining war torn countries and restoring peace through agriculture, Roots of Peace Founder/CEO Heidi Kuhn will partner with the City of San Francisco, where it took root nearly a quarter of a century ago, and its sister city, Assisi, Italy, by giving a leadership gift of $5000 to restore a 17th Century wall fresco on Assisi’s Via Frate Elia, which leads to the town’s magnificent Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
“Our City is pleased and honored that our citizen-led San Francisco-Assisi Sister City Committee has joined with the Bay Area’s Roots of Peace organization on this culturally important program of restoring these ancient Frescos in Assisi,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “I join with Mayor Proietti in saluting Roots of Peace and our Sister City Committee for coming together for this project of friendship and cooperation. Assisi and San Francisco share a commitment to building bridges and are honored to be strong supporters of this unique partnership.”
Set to give the gift on her birthday, January 6th, Heidi views the contribution as an ‘act of peace’ on a date that has become a lightning rod for disagreement and unrest in the United States.
In Ancient Roman religion the Fresco, known as an “Aedicula,” was a small shrine often appearing on city walls protecting a house or city streets. The Frate Elia fresco portrays St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare praying to the Madonna. The fresco is exposed to constant atmospheric agents and pollutants, which over the centuries have contributed to degradation and compromising its state of conservation. The gift and restoration effort are being facilitated in collaboration with LoveItaly, a nonprofit association based in Rome that raises funds for Italian cultural heritage restoration projects.
Assis’s Mayor, Stefania Proietti, heralded the gift. “Assisi, a City of Peace and dialogue between peoples and religions, supports the amazing Heidi Kuhn, Founder of Roots of Peace, and welcomes her praiseworthy initiatives: her generous commitment for a real economy of peace through sustainable agricultural farmland is a major example of help and care for people and the environment in war-torn regions. Her values are the founding values of the Assisi-San Francisco Sister City Program.”
As both a Cancer and COVID-19 survivor, Kuhn feels that each day is a gift. In the spirit of San Francisco’s namesake St. Francis, who had a great love for the environment, the gift is a fitting celebration of Roots of Peace’s foundation in interfaith unity. Heidi and Roots of Peace are reaching across borders to heal the wounds of war and restore this traditional day of light celebrated worldwide.
“Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible,
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”