ITALIAN ART HISTORIANS GATHER IN THE HISTORICAL CENTRE OF L'AQUILA
One thousand art historians from many parts of Italy travelled to L’Aquila on 5 May to see with their own eyes the abandoned state of the historical centre, four years after the earthquake. On behalf of Europa Nostra, Plácido Domingo sent a message of solidarity and support which was read at this exceptional gathering in l'Aquila.
“I wish to convey to you Europa Nostra’s full support and solidarity to Italia Nostra’s campaign on saving the ancient city of L’Aquila that is not only an important testimony of Italian historical and artistic heritage but also a gem of Europe’s art and heritage”, wrote Domingo.
After a procession among the symbolic places of abandoned heritage struck by the earthquake, representatives of civil society strongly enganged in the safeguarding of L’Aquila addressed an audience of university professors, school teachers, researchers, students and pensioners that gathered in the recently restored Church of San Giuseppe Artigiano.
Among them the newly appointed Italian Minister of Culture Massimo Bray who said:
"It would be too easy to say that we will do everything possible. We will do it, I guarantee it and the minister has all the competences required, but now I want to understand and deepen my knowledge. I am shocked to see the centre. It is obvious that people want to come back to live here, in their homes, have their memories and their lives back. We have in front of us something that has been taken away from them, it seems an invisible city and it is very painful”.
The President of Italia Nostra Marco Parini as well as former President Alessandra Mottola Molfino were among the speakers. Italia Nostra supported the campaign that was promoted by many organisations of art historians, teachers, architects, committee and non governmental organisations.
On 6 April 2009, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the city of L’Aquila and its surroundings killing 308 people and displacing 65.000. Many residents were relocated in new towns built around the city but the historical centre has been cordoned off and abandoned.