Ravenna, city of artists

Dis-order of the Knights of the Mortar and of all Colours

1 AUGUST 2016
Mosaico Balthus - La camera turca, Ravenna
Mosaico Balthus - La camera turca, Ravenna

Andrea Emiliani is an Italian Art historian and was the founder and the President of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Emilia-Romagna region. He presented his book The praise of the hand. The conservative innovation at the Casa Matha in Ravenna, on 13th May 2016. Andrea Emiliani spoke about the praise of the hand in Art and handicraft, the importance of the art and of the handicraft in Italy, the restoration to maintain the works of art, the necessity and the return of the handicraft and the downfall of the Professional Institutes in Italy.

This is the first event organized by the Association "Dis-ordine dei Cavalieri della Malta e di tutti i Colori" (Dis-order of the Knights of the Mortar and of all Colours) of which the writer is an honorary member. This new Association of former students and former teachers of the Art schools of Ravenna was born in Ravenna in 2016 to support the 'Charta of Ravenna', a document for the preservation and the enhancement of the artistic and cultural heritage of the Art schools of Italy, today called "Licei Artistici". This important document was signed in the national meeting, held in Ravenna, on 23rd October 2015, and it is also supported by influential persons of Italian culture: Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, Luigi Berlinguer, Antonio Patuelli, Philippe Daverio and Vittorio Sgarbi. In Italy, the Licei Artistici are important because they unite the Aesthetic knowledge and the "cultural manual skill" through design and technical abilities, tradition, art and craft knowledge and innovation; all this has had an important role in the development of the Made of Italy, famous all over the world and in the exploitation of the typical handiworks of the different territories present in Italy.

The Association wants to protect the awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of the Licei Artistici present in the province of Ravenna: the Liceo Artistico "P.L. Nervi-G. Severini" of Ravenna and the Liceo Artistico for the Design "G. Ballardini" of Faenza. In particular, the Association wants to hand down the values and the knowledge of those who have attended or have taught in the Liceo Artistico "P.L. Nervi-G. Severini" of Ravenna that takes on the heritage of the Institute of the Art of Mosaic "Gino Severini" of Ravenna. Besides, this Association aims at preserving the historical and cultural heritage of the teaching of the Byzantine mosaic present in the famous monuments of Ravenna, included by UNESCO in the list of the World Heritage.

The Association promotes cultural and research activities and the protection of cultural goods of the territory of Ravenna: lectures, meetings, exhibitions, performances, concerts, courses and publications. The President of the Association is the artist and intellectual Marcello Landi and the promoting members are: Giuliano Babini, Dusciana Bravura, Mariella Busi, Stefano Cangini, Daniela Caravita, Fulvio Fiorentini, Agnese Navoni, Elena Pagani, Elisa Simoni, Anna Togni and Federico Zanzi.

Text by Antonella Filipponi

Charta of Ravenna

Document for the preservation of the Artistic and Cultural heritage of the Art Schools of Italy, today called Licei Artistici
Today, 23 October 2015, in Ravenna, in the conference room "Nullo Baldini" of the Palazzo della Provincia, in occasion of the Meeting for the preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of the art schools, organised by the Liceo Artistico "Nervi Severini" of Ravenna and of the Association ESSIA, with the patronage of Ravenna Local Council, Emilia-Romagna Region and the National School Department (MIUR), after the first five years of experience of the new system of the Licei Artistici, the following programme declaration has been elaborated.

• - The Italian Licei Artistici represent a historical and cultural heritage unique in the world.
• - In the Licei Artistici the Aesthetic knowledge and the cultured manual skill are of great importance, to be achieved through the union of projectual skills and technical abilities, research about tradition and innovative strenght, material knowledge and promotion of connections with the territory.
• - In the archives, in the laboratories, in the classrooms of the Licei Artistici there is a wealth of instruments and works witnessing the activity made by teachers and students formed along this educational paths and who have often become famous artists. Through these works the connection between the school and its territory is easily understood.
• - The teaching practice used along these educational paths has played a fundamental role in the education of a lot of creators of the made in Italy in a lot of creativity fields.
• - This precious heritage is today a guarantee of the survival of traditions and memories that for beyond a century have characterized the transmission of art and craft knowledge.
• - The fame and the cultural wealth of Italy is mostly due to the production of unique works and artifacts, typical of the various territories, symbol of our country, witnessing its history, tradition and international prestige.
• - Without a right preservation action the rich and various artistic production kept in the art schools is risking to be lost in a short time.
• - Through precise interventions of preservation and enhancement it is possible to prevent the impoverishment and leveling of competences in future students' generations of the Liceo Artistico; a risk that is not only technical and operative, but also social and economic.
• - The cataloguing and the preservation of these goods can become an important economic and cultural resource not only for the schools, but for all the surrounding territory, which can recognize in them a meaningful part of its own history.

All this granted and considered the following principles are stated:
• - The heritage of works, instruments, laboratories, knowledge and competence, found in the Licei Artistici, expressions of the various territorial peculiarities, must be defended to preserve its great quality and variety.
• - The revision of the teaching classes must consider the specificity of subjects and preserve their continuity.
• - The Licei Artistici have to work to make students aware of the safeguard and preservation of the school heritage transmitted by the previous generations.
• - It is necessary to favour the school practices which educate the new generations to the identification, the protection, the preservation of the cultural, artistic, environmental heritage and that have a fundamental interest in witnessing the local identity and history.
• - It is necessary that the Licei Artistici could promote net agreements with local institutions and with all the institutions interested in planning actions allowing the identification and the exact condition of the heritage kept in the schools, based on a precise survey of laboratories, instruments and works, with the aim of a good preservation and usage.
• - It is to be hoped that every local council would agree to protect and enhance the art educational institutions, means to develop the possibilities of the territories, supporting them in planning connections with the systems of artistic, craftsmanship, industrial production.
• - The building of a preservation net of the local craftsmanship and artistic heritage must be a strategic resource for the growth and relaunch of services and jobs which enhance the culture of the diffused museum, in the perspective of a social and economic development of the territory.
• - It is to be hoped that the MIUR and the MIBACT, together with the Regions and the Local Councils, would promote a national plan for the cataloguing, the preservation, the enhancement of the historical, artistic, material and immaterial heritage of the Licei Artistici.

Translation by Maria Rita Servadei