The beauty wounded. Norcia. Earth heart art quake.

23 Dec 16 to 29 Oct 7: the Cathedral Crypt and Santa Maria della Scala in Siena are housing the exhibit ‘La Bellezza Ferita. Norcia. Eearth heart art quake’.

From 23 December 2016 to 29 October 2017

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The crypt under the Siena Duomo and the Santa Maria della Scala Museum complex will host ‘Wounded Beauty. Norcia, Earth Heart Art Quake. Hope reborn from the masterpieces of the city of San Benedetto', a fascinating exhibition that will display several art relics of the Umbrian city that have been rescued and are being safeguarded in the two historic locations. The documentary exposition was strongly supported by the Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia, Monsignor Renato Boccardo and was completed in collaboration with the Superintendence of Umbria. It is being promoted by the Cultural Heritage of the Archdiocese and the Siena Opera Metropolitana, with the support of the Siena Municipality and the organization of Opera-Civita and the Abbey of San Miniato in Monte. Among the many events in Siena open to tourists and inhabitants, this exhibition is a unique opportunity to view the beauty of Norcia (Italia), and also to contribute to its full recovery.

Images of the collapsed cathedral, reduced to a pile of rubble with only its façade miraculously still standing; the Norcia monks praying on their knees in the square in front of the statue of San Benedetto Norcia: these are the touching images of October 30th 2016 when, after a series of earthquakes following the ones on August 25th and November 26th, the Basilica di San Benedetto Norcia and the Siena Cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea collapsed, just as it happened to many other churches in the surrounding area. This is the deep wound in Norcia for which there is no remedy, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, this exhibition, the most important event in Siena news, can definitely help relieve the grief.

The Civil Protection, the National Corps of Firemen, the Police for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and the Umbria Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendence together with the Cultural Heritage Office of the Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia have all proceeded to put many of the masterpieces that have been recovered from the rubble into safety within a few buildings.

The 'surviving' works from the Norcia earthquake, roughly thirty, will be temporarily housed in Santa Maria della Scala in Siena and in the Duomo of Siena Crypt. Santa Maria della Scala Cathedral Siena is one of the museums in Siena that is truly worth visiting: a former hospital and relief centre for pilgrims, sick ones, abandoned children and the homeless. It is a space that has always welcomed everyone, hence why it is perfectly suitable to receive the precious treasures of Norcia’s art heritage whilst also extending its embrace to the inhabitants of Norcia, still wounded by the loss and destruction. In addition to hosting a series of events that in Siena occupy the whole year uninterruptedly, Siena Santa Maria della Scala also exhibits some collections that go from antiquity to modern times, alternating between very different spaces: monumental spaces, narrow corridors, tunnels dug in the tuff and large brick vaults. The Duomo Siena Crypt, only discovered in 1999, will dazzle you with the bright colours of its frescoes and will make the journey through the heart of the Cathedral even more. Like many of the exhibits in Siena that take place in these places, the exhibition Norcia ‘Wounded Beauty' can be visited by buying a ticket that will give you access to the Siena museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala, the Siena Cathedral crypt or both.

The exhibition will lead you an artistic journey through the masterpieces damaged by the earthquake that used to be in shrines, basilicas and churches in the area. You can also see some interesting videos made by the National Firefighters Unit that will help you understand with how much care and passion they dedicated themselves to the rescue of such an invaluable heritage. The pictures taken by local photographers will also be on display. Their shots tell the story of the recovery of the works of art from their point of view. The aim of the museum in Siena exhibition is to make people aware of the disaster that struck Norcia and consequently induce people to donate to support restoration work. In Norcia, the Basilica of St Benedict collapsed and the city is on its knees but it is looking for hands of solidarity thanks to which it can gradually start to pick itself up again with pride and dignity. These figurative ‘hands’ can be visualised as the economic contribution that the promoters of this event will generate for the Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia for restoration and reconstruction phases. The exhibition area, once visited by a substantial flow of tourists, will open the problems and needs of the people and areas hit by the earthquake to a wider audience.

The exhibition will conform to the opening times of its hosting buildings: the crypt is open every day whereas for the Siena Duomo opening hours we advise you to check online, since they vary according to the time of year. If you happen to even just be passing by and are wandering what to do in Siena, this exhibition is definitely among the unmissable Siena exhibits, plus you have until 29th October 2017 to visit it. The earthquake in wounded Norcia brought a wave of devastation, but with the help of everyone this wound will gradually start to heal.

If you decide to visit the exhibition, make the most of it to book one of our hotels in Siena: stay for a few more days and visit the Chianti wine production areas or the charming village of San Gimignano with its famous towers. If you prefer to take base in the city of Florence, you can visit the city of Palio even with one of our fantastic tours of Siena that depart from the Tuscan capital, or perhaps a tour from Livorno.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 23 December 2016 to 29 October 2017

Event location: Siena

Contacts: info and tickets on the official website

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