Regional Museum of Messina, the permanent exhibition “1908 CittàMuseoCittà” opens to the public on 28 November


By John

«Today is an important signal for the city of Messina and in particular for young people because we are convinced that knowing one’s history strengthens one’s identity». This was stated by the regional councilor for Tourism Elvira Amata this morning at the Messina museum presenting during a press conference, which was also attended by the regional councilor for Cultural Heritage Francesco Scarpinato, the regional deputy of the M5S of Messina Antonio De Luca and the director of the Museum Orazio Micali, the permanent exhibition « 1908 CityMuseumCity». An exciting journey in the name of memory and knowledge of Messina before and after the 1908 earthquake, which will be inaugurated on November 28th in the 1000 square meters of space of the former spinning mill at the Regional Museum. «Messina – continues Amata – has a very important history before 1908, that dawn of the earthquake marked our lives and we will never forget it and we want the memory to continue and be strong, but it is right to also know what was there Before. This exhibition with the possibility of this immersive journey into the history of Messina is fundamental, these historical finds before 1908 make us understand what this city was and could have been without that tragedy.”

«This exhibition has great attractive potential from a tourist point of view thanks to the fundamental work done by our museum director Micali, a person who puts passion, determination and love into what he does. – he adds – We need these men, we need to work as a team as we managed to do in the chamber with our colleagues De Luca, the other colleagues from Messina and with the entire parliament in order to make this exhibition happen. This is because when we talk about culture there must be no political color but the objective must only be to provide answers to Sicilian citizens.”

“We want to give the visitor the opportunity to experience a fascinating and exciting journey to come into contact with the real, physical and material memories of the city that disappeared following the 1908 earthquake. The objective of the exhibition is to bring awareness, first of everything of today’s city community and of the various older and younger generations of pre-earthquake Messina, to be aware of what they had or would have had and then perceive the sense of loss of such beauty and historical importance, feeling the pain and sorrow for an entire community that disappeared in that tragic dawn. To understand – explains the Regional Councilor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, Francesco Paolo Scarpinato – the fracture that interrupted almost three millennia of history which was followed by a totally new restart. Touch a column, a capital, a marble with your hand to feel them vibrate and perceive how many hands and how many lives are inside that piece of stone, that marble, that wood. Today’s generations must not feel orphaned.”

Numerous finds recovered after the earthquake will be exhibited and new technologies will play a decisive role because, as director Micali explains, “thanks to virtual reality, the city of 1908 was reconstructedallowing the visitor to experience an immersive reality within the earthquake event, and then deal with the consequences of the earthquake itself”.

“An exhibition offers the visitor a partial vision, a point of view regarding a research path, the telling of a story. The exhibition which will open to the public on Tuesday 28 November will be full of suggestions, information, illustrations, materials, documents, reconstructions, visions and many works but there is no doubt that it is only a starting point for a journey to be written together with the entire community. We want to encourage the community to search for documents and memories in their attics and their oldest albums to build a huge database, the composition of which will depend solely and exclusively on the participation of the people of Messina. We need to understand how this city was made up. This work of ours will serve to give peace to a large number of people who have disappeared without leaving any trace of themselves. It is a moment of reflection and this exhibition will give the city the opportunity to reflect on itself about what it has lost, but only after knowing what it had and where it comes from”, adds the director of the Messina Museum.

“The exhibition is created in collaboration with Capitale Cultura, one of the most active companies in the sector of augmented reality, 3D reconstructions and immersive visits. The displays are curated by Floridia Allestimenti, the electrical and special systems are by Gaetano Previti and the promotion of the event is entrusted to the Sincromie creative studio. The professionals within the Messina Museum who, over long journeys and receiving the baton from previous administrations, have carried out research and knowledge work today allow us to deliver to citizens and visitors a new space entirely dedicated to the city straddling the great earthquake of 1908”, concludes Orazio Micali.