CULTURE Major Exhibit of Restored Jewish Books and Artifacts Commemorated 50 Years after the Flood in Florence
By Pagine Ebraiche staff
“E le acque si calmarono” (“And the waters calmed”), a major exhibition dedicated to the Jewish heritage struck by the fury of the River Arno in 1966, is one of the most relevant events among those scheduled in these weeks in Florence to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the “Great Flood”. The exhibit features hundreds of books, printed volumes and artefacts, marking their extraordinary, symbolic return to the city.
The volumes included in the exhibition, which opened last Thursday, were salvaged and restored thanks to the Foundation for Jewish Cultural Heritage in Italy, along with Florence’s public library, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale. Now restored, they will allow visitors to explore centuries of the history of the Florentine Jewish community, its’ contributions to the city’s cultural and economic progress and the many notable figures who made a difference.
“To those who have worked on the construction of this extraordinary cultural operation with great competence and genuine civil passion, I want to express the gratitude of our Foundation,” President Dario Disegni stressed during the opening.
“Today more than ever the word ‘book’, the word ‘history’, the word ‘document’ have specific meanings and depth. Our history as a people and as a community is transmitted through these texts and precious manuscripts,” said the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni.
“Fifty years on, we have managed to return a fundamental legacy to our city, which illustrates the Jewish community’s attachment to tradition and to the history of Florence,” said Renzo Funaro, President of the Opera del Tempio Ebraico di Firenze, which promoted and coordinated the initiative on behalf of the Foundation, along with Silvia Alessandri of the Biblioteca Nazionale.
“It is an important moment in which a part of our lives, our culture and our history is back,” commented Dario Bedarida, President of the local Jewish Community.
The exhibition is curated by Amedeo Spagnoletto, Milka Ventura, Dora Liscia Bemporad and Gisella Guasti.