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London: in exhibition the precious incunabulum of 1467

The Italian Embassy in London has exhibited one of the oldest and most precious incunabula in Italy: the De Civitate Dei of St. Augustine printed in Subiaco in 1467 from the manuscript of the work, both kept in the Library of the Monastery of St. Scholastica.  The work was exceptionally granted for a six-month loan at the request of Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta. “For antiquity of volume and importance, the De Civitate Dei kept in Subiaco – emphasised Trombetta when presenting the work – has an inestimable historical and cultural value. Its arrival in London is the result of an initiative of cultural diplomacy of the highest importance that we wanted to include in the context of Art2Business, a series of events with which we present to the British public Italian artistic and cultural excellence that have had a significant economic and social impact”. “I am honoured – he added – that the Embassy exhibits one of the oldest products of Italian book art and a tangible example of the beginning of the ‘proto-economy of knowledge’ which was the introduction and diffusion of the art of printing. We are grateful to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and to the Ministry of Tourism for loaning such a prestigious volume. We are also grateful to the State Library of Santa Scholastica for the generosity and far-sighted enthusiasm and collaboration”. On the theme of the art of printing, on the occasion of the exhibition of the inestimable book, there was a debate moderated by Federico Gatti, Cristina Dondi, expert on ancient European book heritage and professor at Oxford, Chiara Medioli, vice-president of Fedrigoni, Elaine Ward, production director of Phaidon, and Nolan Brownie, director of the Taschen London Gallery.