In order to strengthen European integration it is necessary to begin with culture and Italy “is a major power” in that sense. This was Minister Giulio Terzi remark as he spoke to the French Academy at the presentation of the “Portraits in motion: culture, restoration and training exchanges between Italy and France”, organized by the Luigi De Cesaris Onlus group. “At a delicate moment in our continent’s future, I believe that we are duty-bound to enhance an aspect that, more than any other, aligns and binds European peoples”, Terzi added.
Portraits in motion
The “Portraits in motion” project, which has the patronage of the foreign ministry, provides for conservation, cataloguing and possible restoration of the collection of French portraits executed by French Academy fellows who have stayed at Rome’s Villa Medici since the 17th century. The work will begin on March 1st, and be carried out by young French restoration students selected through a competitive process. The French Academy will provide lodgings to the interns, Luigi Cesaris Onlus will underwrite student costs and the Advanced Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR) will run the courses.
Marrying tradition with innovation
“For a country so uniquely rich in cultural assets as Italy is”, Terzi pointed out, “it has been natural to develop conservation and restoration techniques. We have developed professional skills universally acknowledged for their ability to marry tradition with innovation, experience with new technologies”. The foreign ministry, which has been increasingly taking on an economic connotation, “promotes and supports those skills that are requested for the most demanding restoration interventions the world over. Culture produces wealth. Italy is a major cultural power, which has enhanced itself and the world with its creativity”.
Today’s sessions, Terzi went on, offer an occasion to recall the “extraordinary Professor Luigi De Cesaris, important member of the Italian school of restoration. His skill, sensitivity and passion for restoration have allowed people to relive exceptional works of art in Italy and abroad”.