Sicily, Samonà will ask for a stop to the loan of the Morgantina Argents to the U.S.

After Windows on Art in recent days drew attention to the fragility of the Morgantina Argenti, Sicily's Cultural Heritage Councilor Alberto Samonà wrote to Minister Franceschini to consider stopping the loan.

Sicily intends to ask for a review of agreements with the Metropolitan Museum of New York on the Morgantina silverware. This was stated by the regional councillor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, Alberto Samonà, a few days after Finestre sull’Arte drew attention to the issue with an article by Silvia Mazza, which related the recent loan to Greece of the Palermo Fragment to the agreement governing the possibility of displaying the precious (and fragile) treasure of silverware, which, according to the pact with the Met, must be displayed four years in America and four at the Archaeological Museum of Aidone, on an alternating basis. However, diagnostic analyses conducted in the summer of 2014 established the fragility and precarious state of preservation of the artifacts, which would therefore suggest a revision of the agreement.

This is what Samonà now intends to do, who let it be known that he wrote in recent days to Culture Minister Dario Franceschini to emphasize “the need to modify the agreement under which the silverware (last returned to the Archaeological Museum of Aidone in 2020) is loaned to the Metropolitan Museum every four years.” In the request, Samonà also explained that the Sicilian Cultural Heritage Administration has initiated an interlocution with the Metropolitan Museum aimed at a collaboration that includes, among other objectives, the modification of the agreement, which dates back to 2006. From New York it seems there are openings.

How could the agreement be modified? According to Samonà, the solution could be to loan every four years no longer the Morgantina silverware, but less delicate works. Specifically, “other archaeological artifacts,” Samonà explains, “specifically identified by the various museums of the Sicilian Region as part of a broader agreement of collaboration between Sicily and the New York Museum, leading (among other things) to joint initiatives that could constitute for the eventual selected assets a showcase of vast international resonance.”

“It is evident,” Councillor Samonà concludes, “that the natural place for the conservation and enhancement of the Morgantina Argenti is Sicily and, in particular, the Archaeological Museum of Aidone, the only structure that allows their due contextualization and correct cultural interpretation. The alternative hypothesis to their continuous movement goes in the direction, already pursued by the Sicilian Region, of activating profitable collaborations with prestigious international cultural institutions, with a view to a wide-ranging policy that provides for initiatives to be organized together that would clearly benefit our Island.”

In the photo: the silverware from Morgantina

Sicily, Samonà will ask for a stop to the loan of the Morgantina Argents to the U.S.
Sicily, Samonà will ask for a stop to the loan of the Morgantina Argents to the U.S.

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