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Ospiti in Rocca: an exhibition in Spoleto

by Cladia Bottini

There is a serious risk of losing our identity: the earthquake that hit central Italy in 2016 destroyed everything. There is a feeling that, while passing through the state of emergency and reconstruction, something must be done to counteract the loss of ties, links and territorial knowledge in Umbria as well as the other regions, in particular about cultural, historic and artistic heritage.

This exhibition has this precise aim and it has been inaugurated on March 5th, in Rocca Albornoz of Spoleto, and it has been organised by the Region of Umbria, the Ministry of Cultural Assets, Activities and Tourism, the Archdiocese of Spoleto – Norcia and the town of Spoleto, and it will last until July 30th, 2017.

Ospiti in Rocca

The event is part of Discovering Umbria project, made by Sistema Museo and promoted by the Region of Umbria to support and enhance museum activities. The exhibit Treasures from Valnerina opens with Ospiti in Rocca. All the works on display have a very high symbolic significance, such as a XVI century wooden Crucifix from the church of Sant’Anatolia di Narco, the XVI century Madonna with Child from Avendita di Cascia and the Annunciation by Andrea della Robbia from the beginning of the XVI century, which is composed of two sculptures in glazed terracotta – the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel – which originally were placed in the Church of SS. Annunziata and kept in Castellina Museum of Norcia, from where the odd Magistrate’s ballot box, made in the XV century, also exhibited, is from. From other regions there are the refined painting on wood of Madonna with Child by Nicola di Ulisse da Siena from the Diocesan Museum of Ascoli Piceno and the San Sebastiano from the second half of the XVII century from Scai, the area surrounding Amatrice.

Another selection of works rescued from the damaged churches and museums in Valnerina will be on display from April 9th, in order to enhance the exhibition including items recovered and restored in the months since the events of August 24th, 2016.

Other Projects

«After the shakes of August 24th and, in particular, those after October 30th, I have convinced that since Rocca and the Museo nazionale del Ducato (National Museum of the Duchy) had escaped damage, they should assume the role of a point of reference for the territory and for activities that are temporarily experiencing difficulty», says director Rosaria Mencarelli.

But there are many other initiatives, including Lightquake: Donate for reconstruction, a crowdfunding campaign started in February within the artistic project named LIGHTQUAKE, promoted by MiBACT and the National Duchy Museum of Spoleto, in collaboration with the Municipality of Spoleto, The Faculty of Design of the Milan Polytechnic, and the Association of Rocca Albornoziana, in order to support the restoration of works damaged by the earthquake as well as the launch of a shared project to regenerate the area at a regional level, with culture at its heart. Lightquake represents a beacon for reaction and rebirth, “a tremor of light” to instill positive energy and break the darkness of destruction, reigniting the cycle of life and creativity in a land with a rich heritage of masterpieces and artistic excellences. Fundraising contributions, developed in collaboration with the Progetto IMMaginario, may be made through the specialised Starteed platform.

A Necessary Restoration

Hope and commitment; knowledge and understanding for the future. The exhibition is an appropriate reaction to the urgency of cultural assets, in order not to risk to lose our heritage all together. Buildings, churches and works of art must be all restored as soon as possible, otherwise, as I already had occasion to write in the special edition of Predella dedicated to the earthquake, citing Mario Calabresi from La Repubblica of October 29th, 2016: «We will be poorer, as we had lost a piece of our soul».

 

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Claudia Bottini

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