The museum spaces of Vincenzo Bellini’s birthplace in Piazza San Francesco have been re-functionalized and reopened to the public with new exhibitions, captions, storytelling paths, multimedia supports. The exhibition area dedicated to the great musician and composer from Catania has “returned” to Palazzo Gravina Cruyllas after the restoration work that involved the historic city building.
Present at the inauguration of the “Vincenzo Bellini Museum”, Cultural Councilor Barbara Mirabella with Councilors Enrico Trantino and Pippo Arcidiacono, Professor Maria Rosa De Luca, Professor of Musicology at the Department of Humanities at the University of Catania and responsible for the University’s project, the cultural and architectural heritage inspector Donatella Aprile, the head of the Guardia di Finanza, General Antonino Raimondo, the chairman of the Council’s cultural commission, Giovanni Grasso, the director of the cultural department, Paolo Di Caro, and the museum’s official, Valentina Noto, research fellows from University of Catania, Daniela Caccamo and Daniele Cannavò, Monsignor Barbaro Scionti, who also blessed the renewed place of culture and knowledge.
The re-functionalization of museum spaces is part of the project “Virtual Museum of BellinInRete Music”, funded by funds from the Pact for Catania (Development and Cohesion Fund for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers / ERDF European Fund for Regional Development 2014-2020 / Pact for Catania ) and made on the basis of an agreement established by the municipality of Catania with the University of Catania (Department of Humanities) and with the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies in CNR-Catania.
“A choral work as always – said Commissioner Mirabella – which made it possible to give new life to the museum and the rooms at the Swan’s birthplace, with interventions that also benefited from the closing period for the public caused by the pandemic. The museum tells the biographical phases, but also Bellini’s passion and artistic career.A walk that brings all of us citizens and also tourists closer to the greatness of this character, a giant of music that it will be possible to discover more in depth also through the virtual museum, which already largely ready, with all the digitized work, and which will represent an immersive space, a place where with the five senses Vincenzo Bellini listens and ‘lives’ “.
The University of Catania has made an important contribution to the content and study of the collections exhibited in the Casa del Cigno, thanks to the Department of Humanities – emphasized Professor De Luca – and the CNR, the Department of Cognitive Science and Technology. much broader project, which includes three steps: the re-functionalization of the spaces in Bellini’s birthplace, the creation of a multimedia museum and a digital platform on which the collections of Bellini’s heritage will be available.Today’s opening represents the realization of the first part of the project had also aims to restore and revive the musician’s relationship with the city of Catania.It is no coincidence that the first space is dedicated to the musician’s early years, from 1801 to 1819, the second after his return to Sicily after success with the work “Norma”, while the third to the return of the remains of the Catania “hero” in 1876 in his Catania, a city that takes back its own child’s memory and value ”.
The texts for the panels, the captions and the scientific design of the birthplace were handled by the working group at the University of Catania, led by Professor Maria Rosa De Luca.
The reopening of the rooms on the ground floor and on the museum’s first floor marks the first step in the “BellininRete” project, which ends at the end of the year with the inauguration of the building’s second floor, with i.a. the multimedia area dedicated to the Nordic Ecolabel. This first phase is part of the complex project prepared by Prof. Francesco Antinucci (Prof. Emeritus of CNR-Rome) aimed at a reorganization of the Civic Museum through the rearrangement of the birthplace and the multimedia museum. A small piece of the initiative was made by the students of the art school “Emilio Greco”, who took care of the cleaning of the museum furniture.