"The investments that are made in culture are not only a duty of quality of social life but also to foster economic growth. Our country has the greatest artistic and cultural heritage of the world. There is a need not only to preserve this heritage but also to enhance. It is our duty to do so, both towards our history and our future". This is the strong message sent by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, during his visit to Pompeii made last Saturday to officially inaugurate the exhibition of the franco-polish artist Igor Mitoraj (who has passed away two years ago).
The President arrived in Pompeii around 11 am and in reference to the exhibition of Mitoraj Mattarella said: "My appreciation is very high, I could appreciate through the works of Mitoraj the extraordinary combination of antiquity and modernity. The placement of the sculptures of this great artist seems to all, and it seems to me too, completely natural and it has enhanced the ruins. Maybe someone will have been deceived thinking that they are works of that time, and it means that art has no boundaries of time and the beauty to combine ancient art and contemporary art. I have to thank the Minister of Culture and Tourism Franceschini for this extraordinary event and the Superintendent and the Governator De Luca too”.
The Minister Franceschini, introducing the speech of Mattarella, emphasizes: "This is the confirmation of the rebirth of Pompeii. Its name was associated with an element of Italian negativity but now we are in another season. The picture is completely changed: now we have 43 completed construction sites and 27 in progress. We have almost reached the number of 3 million of visitors and this is an important story. The second source of satisfaction for you, Mr. President, is that your visit takes place for the exhibition of an extraordinary sculptor like Mitoraj and this is happened thanks to the Foundation and to the will of the heirs. I was lucky to meet him and Mitoraj in person who told me that his dream was to create an exhibition in Pompeii. He had imagined exactly in which corners of the archaeological site his works need to be exposed".
Franceschini also recalls that :"Italy can count on more resources in the budget of the cultural heritage. Today the budget of the Ministry of Culture has increased by 36% compared to the 2015, returning over two billion after being for a long time under one billion and a half".
After visiting the ruins Mattarella has reached the Basilica dedicated to the Holy Virgin for a private visit – that is the most important center of Marian devotion in the world located two kilometers far from the archaeological park. The Italian President was accompanied by the Archbishop Tommaso Caputo and the rector of the Sanctuary, Mr. Mocerino.
At the end of the visit in the sanctuary Mattarella left Pompeii by helicopter.
Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.