After returning home, Antonello's Annunciation takes center stage at conference in Palazzolo Acreide

On March 8 in Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse) there will be a conference entitled 'The Annunciation between Conservation and Enhancement.

On Friday, March 8, at 5 p.m., the Church of the Annunziata in Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse) will host a conference entitled L’Annunciazione tra conservazione e valorizzazione, dedicated to one of Antonello da Messina’s most famous masterpieces, theAnnunciation of Syracuse: the work was originally made precisely for the church in Palazzolo Acreide, while today it is kept in Syracuse, at Palazzo Bellomo.

The event is conceived and curated by Silvia Mazza, art historian and journalist for Il Giornale dell’Arte, and is organized by the Municipality of Palazzolo Acreide. The conference will reflect on the conservation aspects of the painting, which between 2007 and 2008 underwent a conservation intervention curated by the Istituto Superiore Conservazione e Restauro (ISCR) in Rome, as well as on the possible aspects of its valorization, also in view of the recent exhibition that the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis has dedicated to Antonello (and where theAnnunciation was on display, despite the controversy), and on the sidelines of the one that opened a few days ago in Milan, at Palazzo Reale.

During the conference, after the institutional greetings of Salvatore Gallo, mayor of Palazzolo Acreide, and Maurizio Aiello, tourism councillor of the Syracuse municipality, speeches will be given by Lorenzo Guzzardi (director of the Syracuse Regional Pole for Cultural Heritage), Roberto Ciabattoni (conservation officer of the Physics and Environmental Controls Laboratory of theISCR and professor of physics at the School of Higher Education in Rome and Matera), Silvia Mazza, Luigi Lombardo (ethnoanthropologist) and Vincenzo Nieli (artist).

Guzzardi will give a talk on the enhancement of Antonello’s masterpiece, Ciabattoni will illustrate the diagnostic investigations he had carried out at the time of the restoration on the painting and the solutions adopted for its safe handling and transport from Rome to Syracuse, and for the first time he will make public the outcome of the binder investigations carried out during the last restoration by ISCR chemist Professor Fabio Talarico, along with other data that have emerged on the binders used in the Madonna and Child and St. John the Evangelist of the Florence Polyptych, currently on display in Milan. Silvia Mazza will offer a historical-artistic reading, in some ways unprecedented, of the Annunciation (“for the first time,” the art historian points out, “in the same church for which the painting was made by Antonello and where it remained uninterruptedly for 433 years, from 1474, the date of its execution, to 1907, when it was purchased by the procurators of the church and transferred to the Royal Archaeological Museum of Syracuse, pending its allocation to the museum of’art, the present Bellomo, which would be created by separation from the archaeological collections.”), while Lombardo will share the outcome of archival research on the painting’s history inside the Annunziata church, and finally Nieli will propose his own interpretation of Antonello’s work, with a painting that will be granted to the Annunziata church this spring-summer and will be available for daily use.

“After the uproar caused by a strongly opposed loan,” says Silvia Mazza, “I felt that the return of the work to the museum where it belongs should be accompanied by no less attention: an event of cultural significance, a tribute to the territory for which it was created (Palazzolo) and in which it is kept (Syracuse), and to all that civil society, associations and intellectuals, thanks to whose pressure the move to Milan for the second stage of the exhibition was arrested.” The art historian and journalist also stresses the importance of Professor Ciabattoni’s intervention, with which “we also want to ideally reconnect with the invitation of the late Dr. Giuseppe Basile, responsible for the last intervention on the painting, who hoped that the links between the Roman Institute and those responsible in Sicily for Antonello’s painting would continue beyond that restoration.”

For Mayor Salvatore Gallo and Tourism Councillor Maurizio Aiello, the conference “constitutes an extraordinary opportunity for the enhancement of the Church of the Annunziata, of monumental value for its important Baroque twisted columns, whose history is marked by the time that saw it the custodian of one of the most beautiful masterpieces of art. An event that is also an opportunity to promote the image of Acreide Palace through an event with a high cultural profile.”

Pictured is a detail of Antonello da Messina’sAnnunciation.

Source: communiqué

After returning home, Antonello's Annunciation takes center stage at conference in Palazzolo Acreide
After returning home, Antonello's Annunciation takes center stage at conference in Palazzolo Acreide

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