Bergamo and Brescia are enlightened by culture

Culture as enzyme, glue, mastic. Culture as a cure for pandemic suffering and pain. Bergamo and Brescia will be the two cities “enlightened” by hope next year, Italian capitals of culture. And Giorgio Gori and Emilio del Bono, mayors of the two cities, testify that the general cultural states take place in Turin the desire for a rebirth from pain and suffering precisely through culture. “In the phase where our cities have had Covid’s aggression, I discovered that culture could have a value of care – says Giorgio Gori in a speech to the States -.

From there started the idea of ​​candidacy of two territories that are close but not very friendly. The path to recovery and rebirth could go through culture, which is an enzyme, a yeast, a fertilizer to look to the future with more positivity. For Giorgio Gori, the primary goal of the two cities as Capitals of Culture must be to strengthen the community instead of increasing attendance. “Culture enables citizens to be more aware of the present and to avoid the confusion and fragility that such sudden changes can create,” Gori continues. During the pandemic, one thing became very clear. Some deeply rooted values ​​have created a strong sense of solidarity. Each tried to do something for the others. And it is with this spirit that we look to next year’s goals. The aim is not to focus on the 2023 timetable, but in the meantime we have tried not only to focus on the 2023 timetable, but to consider it as a starting point for strengthening the bases in the two territories, which are “already competitive but together can they be much more, “says the mayor of Bergamo.” A complex point that arises in the wake of the pandemics – he concludes – is that there is a great recovery in tourist presence, but this is re-emerging in a form of sustainable presence. Bergamo’s historic center is precious but delicate. We must protect its nature so that it does not become a cultural park.

Emilio Del Bono emphasizes how, in a sense, for Brescia to be the Capital of Culture, 2023 represents a reversal of the cliché with which it is perceived in Italy, that is, a predominantly productive, diligent and hard-working territory. “Bergamo, but above all Brescia, are partly unknown cities – says Del Bono – By working together we can provide a different light that nurtures curiosity”. Del Bono quotes Minister Franceschini as saying that there is a whole Italy to discover. “There is a giant unknown Italy which, when discovered, leaves you speechless – del Bono continues – Philippe Daverio confirmed that Brescia is an urban encyclopedia where you can cross Italy’s history in a few meters, from the archeological park to Piacentiniana Square. This often happens in Italy, but it is even more evident in medium-sized cities. Here we want to play this medium-sized Italy by uniting the communities, because culture is a big mastic even among new citizens ». In Brescia, every fourth citizen is of foreign origin, and culture is an exceptionally effective element of pride in creating a sense of community. «The best pictures on instragram were taken by young foreigners – reveals Del Bono-. This strengthens the sense of identity ». Del Bono recalls President Mattarella’s words at the presentation of the restoration of Vittoria Alata: Italy will restart from culture. “He said this in a city with a strong production spirit,” he concludes. And it’s a source of pride for us, because our business is a business culture. And when the company gets called up, it does not hold back. In the Alliance for Culture project, we encouraged the main companies to help us make our cultural heritage more usable. Of course there is a need for cooperation, but above all mutual trust ‘Paolo Verri, an expert in urban development and major events, was the director of Matera European Capital of Culture. “It’s hard for me to speak on behalf of the South,” begins Verri, “especially in a place like Turin, which has had to reinvent itself. Turin started from the automotive industry and got to where it is now. It is dramatic that I represent the South, but in the name of the South I want to emphasize two things. 70% of the cultural productions take place from Rome and upwards. This data should make us reflect. At the end of the year for the Matera Capitale, I will remember David Sassoli’s beautiful speech at the inauguration of four scholarships. Because we have a huge cultural heritage, but the most important infrastructure is people. Fewer bricks and more neurons. Infrastructures are important, but there are more people ». The second element that Verri emphasizes is the smaller areas. “After Matera, I was so lucky to have dealt with Volterra and Ivrea,” says Verri, “and I agree with Mayor Gori.” The most important legacy has been to make everyone, older, less educated, feel part of a community. What Bergamo and Brescia will do is not for Bergamo and Brescia, but for Italy. These manifestations are not of territories, but of all. It is we who dive into this great pond, which is culture ».

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