february 13, 2018 - Comune di Palermo

Palermo launches the Italian Capital of Culture year

An “original project with far-reaching cultural and humanitarian significance, manifestly and generously oriented towards inclusion, permanent training, the creation of skills and citizenship, without disregarding the importance of its heritage and contemporary artistic works”. The motivation of MIBACT validates the uniqueness and essence of the project developed for #palermo: a Mediterranean capital whose stratified splendour has been grafted onto a multi-ethnic society that was welcoming in the past and continues to be so today. The project was convincing and #palermo has officially inaugurated its year as Italian Capital of Culture in the presence of the Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and the Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini. The essence of the #palermo project is expressed in the new logo that will accompany it throughout the year: designed by a 22 year old from #palermo who studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Sabrina Ciprì, in a single symbol it depicts the letter P inflected in Arabic, Hebrew, Phoenician and Greek, the languages that laid the foundations of the city 

But #palermo Italian Capital of Culture is a vision and not merely a programme of events: because its strength lies in having brought together the city’s cultural institutions, associations and its vital and traditional festivals”, explains the mayor, Leoluca Orlando, and the councillor of culture, Andrea Cusumano,who announced that much of the ministerial financing of one million euros will be used for overseas training projects dedicated to young people who are not university students. #palermo Capital has expanded to the Metropolitan area and the entire region, multiplying the added value of the Manifesta12 Biennial which will open in June and which for five months will project the capital of Sicily into the world of international art. A transversal project already counting 800 events – and others are gradually being added – which takes in art, music, theatre, big events, meetings, conventions, sport. The international events that project the city towards the big issues of the Third Millennium are pieces of this mosaic: peace, legality and participation, for events that have “chosen” #palermo as their arena. Starting with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) which in March will present the project to reconstruct the souk, the Omayyadi Mosque and the Minaret of Aleppo, UNESCO world heritage site, destroyed during the conflict in 2013. 

In a couple of days “Love difference”, a large reflecting table shaped like the Mediterranean basin, created by Michelangelo Pistoletto, arrives in the city. For twelve months the table will be installed in the Ballroom of the Sant’Elia Foundation – technical and organisational heart of #palermo Capital – and it will be used for roundtables on the question of dialogue between cultures, hospitality and international mobility rights. Many other projects have been organised: from international exhibitions – the images of Spencer Tunick and Robert Capa, the exhibition-event about Antonello da Messina, the installations of Jan Fabre, Shozo Shimamoto or Martin Kipperberger and the Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka’s “ReSignifications” – to the MUIR Premio delle Arti, the MIBACT MigrArti festival and the European Festival of Music which will bring thousands of young musicians from all over Europe to #palermo in June. And again, a “social opera” experiment which will involve an entire neighbourhood and the international conference on “Philosophies of the Mediterranean: past and present”. This and much more. With an important legacy that will remain in the city: a series of structural projects will be developed during the year of #palermo Italian Capital and which will be completed by the end of 2020, implementing an integrated plan of culture and its spaces under the banner of collaboration among the institutions. From the restoration of Palazzo Butera, museum that houses the Valsecchi collection, to the opening of two new “parks”: Al Medina Al Aziz which revolves around the antique Palazzo della Zisa, UNESCO world heritage site with other eight monuments of the Arab-Norman serial property – and the green heart of the Casina Cinese-Pitrè park. A new No MAFIA MEMORIAL will be built, archive-research lab museum on the fight against the mafia. With great respect, #palermo has found spaces to offer people who have decided to come here to live: from the inter-religious Agora which welcomes people of all faiths, to the new Synagogue. Finally, a single culture and tourist portal will be developed to bring together all of the city’s cultural sites in a single ticket office.



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