Promoted by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity and the Taormina Naxos Archaeological Park.
The History of Sicily and the Mediterranean through historical maps
Vernissage: 24th June, 12 , Palazzo Ciampoli
What is, after all, the Homeric Odyssey if not the most mythical and revolutionary map of the Mediterranean? Yes, literally revolutionary. From Ithaca to and from, a circular route outlines the hero’s revolution around the Mare nostrum, an unstoppable orbit, like the laws of the Universe, like the Earth around the Sun. And revolutionary is the enterprise of nostos, as bold as Man knows how to be, ready to go through the stages of a bold epic and sentimental geography that is embodied by Myth in History. Wasn’t it the same thirst for knowledge of the world that animated the most daring travelers and cartographers over the millennia, the same explosive desire for change that drove Ulysses further and further?
The imaginative description of islands and continents has gradually taken on more and more precise contours, in spite of the maquillage dictated by distorted geopolitical visions or erudite complacency. This is confirmed by this extraordinary and rare exhibition of historical maps of Sicily and the Mediterranean, authentic works of art, preserved among the prints of the Regional Library of Messina.
This is a story of men, islands, tales. It is a short novel about the Mediterranean, a story that winds through the historical maps of Sicily, preserved in the Collection of prints of the Regional Library of Messina. A story that goes from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth century, sometimes sepia coloured, sometimes colorful, more or less imbued with fantasy. There are maps made for sailors, with references for the docking well in evidence. And there are those that, for example, Vincenzo Maria Coronelli did for the scholars, who (in the late seventeenth century) no longer liked a faithful representation of the Earth, because they were used to assigning to each place a myth, a symbol, a cultural reference. There are real cities and ideal cities, as in the map of 1680, signed by the Flemish Frederick de Wit, which takes up a representation of the previous century: in a box at the top, appears Messina with walls and arsenals that at the time did not exist, but that was the image that they wanted to transmit. And then there are the men, those who walked around the island to trace its shape and coordinates, like Filippo Cluverio, a German geographer who lived only 42 years but who left us the guidelines of historical geography. It is the novel of Sicily and the Mediterranean in about thirty precious maps, each with a story and a voice.
Equipment and Technical Direction by Francesca Cannavò
Graphics by Tina Berenato