The year of Palermo, the Italian Capital of Culture, was officially inaugurated. A ceremony took place this morning at the Teatro Massimo in the presence of the Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini and the President of the Sicilian Region Nello Musumeci.
On the stage of the Teatro Massimo, one of the symbols of the city’s rebirth, the Boys’ Choir and the multi-ethnic Arcobaleno (rainbow) choir have opened with the Mameli anthem the “party” of Palermo immediately after the mayor Leoluca Orlando presented the project of Palermo Capital of Culture which was illustrated by the Culture Councilor Andrea Cusumano. The communication project – drafted by Gomez & Mortisia, the advertising agency that won the tender – and the new logo was presented: a Palermo student from the Academy of Fine Arts, Sabrina Ciprì, 22 , which has contained in a single symbol, the P declined from the Arabic, from the Hebrew, from the Phoenician, from the Greek, to underline the languages of the person who laid the foundations of the city.
Palermo Italian Capital of Culture involves cultural institutions, associations and festivals in the city and in the Metropolitan City and the region as well, further enhancing the importance of the Manifesta Biennale12 which will open in June and for five months will project the city into the world of international art.
Over 780 events are planned, to which others are adding at this time – including art, music, theater, events, conferences, sports. On this “mosaic” are grafted international initiatives that project the city towards the great themes of the Third Millennium: peace, legality, solidarity and participation, for events that have “chosen” Palermo as limelight. Beginning with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), March 2 will present a world premiere of the reconstruction project of the suq, the Omayyad mosque and the Aleppo minaret, a UNESCO heritage site, destroyed in 2013 during the conflict.
In a few days will arrive “Love difference”, the large mirror table in the shape of a Mediterranean basin created by Michelangelo Pistoletto. For twelve months the table will be installed in the Hall of Dances of the Sant’Elia Foundation – the technical and organizational heart of Palermo Capital – and will host initiatives and meeting on the theme of dialogue between cultures, acceptance, the right to human mobility. There are many projects: from international exhibitions – images by Spencer Tunick, by Robert Capa, the exhibition-event on Antonello da Messina and art installations by Jan Fabre, Shozo Shimamoto or Martin Kipperberger up to “ReSignifications” by the Nobel Wole Soyinka – at the MIUR Arts Prize, at MIBACT’s MigrArti festival at the European Music Festival which will bring to Palermo a thousand young musicians from all over Europe in June. And again, an experiment of “social lyric opera” that will involve an entire district up to the international conference on “Mediterranean Philosophies of Yesterday and Today”.
Many structural projects will be activated in the year of Palermo Capitale Italiana and will be completed by 2020, from the restoration of Palazzo Butera, home of the Valsecchi collection museum, to the opening of two new “parks”: Al Medina Al Aziz in ancient Zisa district and the green heart of the Casina Cinese-Pitrè park. A No MAFIA MEMORIAL will take place, a museum archive of the fight against the mafia. Palermo has found spaces to offer with respect to those who decided to live here: from the Interfaith Agora open to all faiths, to the new Synagogue. Finally, a unique portal will be created of the city’s cultural and tourist offer that will unify the ticket offices of the city’s cultural sites.