Livorno, May 17th, 2013, 11am
Sala degli Specchi – Museo Civico “G. Fattori” – Villa Mimbelli
Via San Jacopo in Acquaviva – Livorno
The Livorno delle Nazioni cultural association, directed by Matteo Giunti, will be presenting an important artistic work by an illustrious British artist of the early 19th century, discovered recently in Livorno’s Old English Cemetery. The sculpture, which originally decorated the monumental grave of an important British politician, was long believed to be lost. It was found and identified by the members of the association. In collaboration with the Comune di Livorno and the Soprintendenza BAPSAE of Pisa, the sculpture was transferred to the Museo Civico Fattori of Livorno, where it awaits restoration. It will be on show during the conference.
The conference will be attended by: Dr. Mario Tredici, Assessore alla Culture, Comune di Livorno; Dr.ssa Loredana Brancaccio, Soprintendenza BAPSAE – Pisa; Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Livorno.
Some brief background notes
As well as being the oldest cemetery of its kind in Italy, dating from the mid-17th century, this Protestant burial ground in the centre of the city is a treasure trove of historical, cultural and artistic gems. Although relatively unknown today, it is highly representative of Livorno’s four centuries of history. More than 500 people of several different nationalities were buried in the cemetery during its 200 years of activity (c.1645-1839), many of them members of the British Factory that aided and protected the community of British merchants who lived here in the 17th-19th centuries. Other burials include sailors, politicians, writers, poets, members of the nobility, travellers, and many more. While Livorno, or Leghorn, was still one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean, this little piece of non-catholic Europe on Italian soil also attracted high-calibre visitors such as Charles Dickens and James Fenimore Cooper, keen to pay their respects to their fellow countrymen buried there, such as the Scottish writer and historian Tobias Smollett. Damaged during World War II, and the object of theft and vandalism over the years, the cemetery today requires considerable funding to restore and maintain it for future visitors.