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


By John

An exciting, engaging installation which aims to give the people of Messina a clear sense of belonging, “because knowledge is the main tool for understanding one’s identity”. With these words, Orazio Micali, Director of the Accascina Regional Museum of Messina, announces the birth of the exhibition “1908 CittàMuseoCittà”which will be open to the public from Tuesday 28 November.

For this permanent exhibition, which will develop over an area of ​​1000 square metres, the spaces of the former headquarters of the National Museum (former Filanda Mellinghoff) will be used. A real journey into the Messina that existed before the tragic earthquake of 1908 which marked the fate of the City of the Strait.

“The birth of this exhibition represents a truly special intuition that starts thanks to the impulse of the regional parliamentarians of the territory and of the entire regional Parliament with the aim of significantly strengthening the memory and historical value of the City of Messina. An initiative, I am sure, which will not only allow citizens to be involved in a truly exciting immersive journey, but will constitute an important attractive element with a strong impact for the many tourists who want to visit the exhibition. I want to express full applause for this opportunity given to the City of Messina and, as a fellow citizen and regional parliamentarian, I am particularly proud of it”, declares theRegional Councilor for Tourism, Sport and Entertainment, Elvira Amata.

“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 which disappeared following the 1908 earthquake. The aim 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 reconstructed, allowing 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.