Legambiente Sicilia proposes to promote what remains. The historical reason is linked to the importance and cultural impact that this style has had in the world.
There Sicily It is universally known for being one of the richest regions in the world in tourist and cultural attractions. Often, however, when tourists are asked what monument comes to mind when they think of our island, they will hardly respond with works that are very different from classical art and architecture.
This is obviously a good thing, because if our Valley of the Temples, but also Segesta, Taormina and Selinunte are so internationally recognizable, it means that our land is still capable of attracting many ancient history enthusiasts.
However, the fact that Sicily is remembered only for Greco-Roman art or, at most, for the art of the Arab-Norman period is a rather limiting fact, both for cultural progress and for the enhancement of our immense artistic and architectural heritage. .
For For this reason, also to outline what are the priorities to be resolved, so that Sicilian cultural assets are sufficiently protected and appreciated, the association Legambiente Sicily He has drawn up a list of twelve points (a dodecálogo, through his campaign “Save the art”), with which to try to give guidelines on future political and administrative initiatives. An operation of no small importance, taking into account that our region really offers several options to improve the area.
Among the most important points of this list, is what it includes the protection of freedom Sicilianan artistic and architectural style that, although it influenced several artists during the 20th century, has also suffered several havoc, due to the demolition or abandonment of a large number of villas that exhibited this style.
Legambiente Sicilia proposes, therefore, to value what remains -and above all what survived the Sack of Palermo- by launching various works that can guarantee a future for sicilian freedomso that the enjoyment of tourists and visitors begins to grow hand in hand with conservation.
Among the cultural assets that the association intends to safeguard with the contribution of the region we have, for example, the Villino Ida in via Siracusa, which was designed by Ernesto Basile at the beginning of the last century and which, in Legambiente’s intentions, should become the “Museum House “dedicated to the important architect from Palermo, incredibly still little considered on the continent, as Villa Baucina-Pottinoon sale for years and the only remaining testimony of Art Nouveau in Via Notarbartolo.
Art Nouveau works that must be protected in palermo however, they certainly don’t end there.
Indeed, in addition to increasing the visiting hours of the various villas that the Florios have built in Palermo, including the Olivuzza villa, Legambiente requests that the Villa Messina-Verderame in via Francesco Lojacono be attached to the Regional Museum of the History of Liberty, so that it can soon also become the local headquarters of the Red Réseau Art Nouveau, which is the cultural itinerary recognized and desired by the Council of Europe, which pushes Palermo to enter the international sphere of Liberty from June 2, 2022.
But why is it important to protect Sicilian freedom? many will ask. Why should Sicily, with all its UNESCO sites and several museums, set up new campaigns and works of cultural interest for villas dating back just over a century? Simple, they clarify from the association.
The historical reason that should push both the regional and national governments to protect Sicilian Freedom is linked to the importance and cultural impact that this style has had in Italy as well as in the rest of the world, without considering more recently literary works – among the entire Florio Saga of Stephanie Auci – have made us rediscover the shapes, colors and faces that gave life to this artistic journey. However, this is where the main works of Sicilian Liberty are located, outside the capital.
Immediately clarifying that this style consisted of motifs directly inspired by nature, especially the plant and floral world, and that it provided for little stylistic rigor, in order to allow architects to let off steam and give free rein to their creative genius, we must immediately point out that Liberty also widespread in the different noble villas, in the cemeteries and in the public buildings of Catania, Messina and Victoriawith several other isolated structures that began to appear in smaller municipalities, such as in Favignana (where the famous Florio factory and another villa are located), in Canicattì Bagni, Bagheria, Licata or in Augusta.
It should also be noted how the Liberty accompanied the reconstruction of Messina, after the devastating earthquake of December 28, 1908 that devastated the city. However, Sicilian freedom also extended to Rome, again thanks to Ernesto Basile and the Florios, who through the villas Ximenes, Florio, Rudinì and lesser monuments became the capital of art nouveau in Italy.
Generally, however, when we say that Art Nouveau influenced contemporary world art, we must clarify that it was mainly thanks to some reception structures in the Palermo environment if this style, different fromfrench art nouveauit reached the wealthy tourists who came to Sicily, who, impressed by the simplicity and majesty of the structures in which they were staying, wanted to replicate or adapt what they had seen in their countries of origin, establishing new Liberty styles that spread throughout Europe until sunrise. of fascism
Among these monuments we have the Grade Hotel delle Palme, located in Via Roma, the spectacular Villa Igea, the Old Spa of mondellothe Ribaudo and Vicari kiosks present in the city and the Massimo Vittorio Emanuele theater itself, whose construction had international resonance as it became the third largest in Europe, after Paris and Vienna, and the best in acoustics in the world.
It is therefore unbelievable that many of the villas built between the late 19th and early 20th centuries were destroyed and demolished, often due to planning nonsense.
Via Libertà and via Notarbartolo in Palermo, for example, they had dozens of Art Nouveau buildings and private villas and little of what once shocked the world, for its refinement and liveliness, has remained today.
Therefore, it seems legitimate to support the commitment of volunteers and various associations, in an attempt to protect an artistic and cultural heritage that has lived in oblivion or in decline for too long.
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