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TREASURE OF AQUILEIA

THE DREAM OF BISHOP BOMMARCO: A MUSEUM FOR THE TREASURE OF AQUILEIA

The talks between the Archbishop of Gorizia Father Antonio Bommarco and the writer, then Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Gorizia, were always marked by extreme clarity and, I think, based on sincere mutual esteem that derived from a common love for the city. The occasion was given by the approach of the Jubilee of 2000 and by the possibility, also for the Archiepiscopal Curia. of obtaining funding aimed at spiritual and cultural growth. Together we identified the former convent of St. Clare and in particular its deconsecrated church the possibility of creating a museum in which part of the Cathedral's treasure, the so-called treasure of Aquileia, of the Teresian Donation, in the possession of the Archiepiscopal Curia, could be exhibited. Father Bommarco was very interested in this project. Work was done for the good of the city, art treasures were brought to light to which until then only a privileged few had access, public testimony was given to the strong Christian tradition of the city, which owed much to the religious Orders. More secularly on the part of the Municipality and above all on the part of the undersigned, a Museum of absolute international value was created in the centre of Gorizia, tearing away from total degradation a building that was almost collapsing. The Museum of St. Clare, which should have been called the Museum of the Treasure of Aquileia, was built by the Municipality of Gorizia in agreement with the then Archbishop Father Bommarco, taking advantage of the funds of the Jubilee of 2000: the cost to restore and use as a museum the former seventeenth-century church that is located more or less in front of the post office was about five billion.

This choice was made:

1) to restore a very valuable building that was falling to pieces in the centre of Gorizia (which was carried out with great effort due to bureaucratic delays to which the municipal offices were not extraneous).

2) to give back to the people of Gorizia, faithful and not, a unique and precious patrimony of the city, that is what remained of the conspicuous part due to Gorizia of the Treasure of Aquileia that was divided in half between the newly constituted archbishops of Udine and Gorizia by Maria Teresa Empress of Austria when she decreed the end of the Patriarchate of Aquileia in 1752. 

3) to give back to the people of Gorizia, faithful and not, the magnificence of the Teresian Donation, objects dedicated to the cult of rare value, consisting of artistic silver artefacts and archepiscopal mitres of exquisite workmanship.

4) to give Gorizia an extra opportunity for cultural tourism: a very prestigious museum, linked to a patriarchal history, of which Gorizia is the direct heir. The Committee for the Jubilee welcomed the Gorizia request and ordered more than four billion lire to realize it; besides, the Carigo Foundation, which was immediately and positively involved, put at disposal almost one billion of the old lire for the exhibitions (thermal showcases, frames, etc.) which were supposed to make the Museum a little technological jewel and secure a treasure of the community.

I repeat, everything was done with the full agreement and impulse of Archbishop Bommarco.

Nothing was done about it and everything is silent. Someone tell us why.

The journalist Vincenzo Compagnone has revealed - and very effectively - one of the most secret secrets of Gorizia, the Museum of Santa Chiara, putting in the right light the constructive and not polemical aspect of a campaign that Gorizia3.0 (besides many others) has been carrying on since a few months, see the following post.

We have heard at length about "cultural tourism" as if the topic was of a simple implementation. It isn't: just look at the FVG Region that for at least a decade doesn't know which fish to catch on the front of tourism tout court. Imagine for that culture, unable to distinguish between hardware (museums, architectural treasures, archaeological, urban planning as Torviscosa, Palmanova, Venzone etc.) and software, not understanding the importance of synergy between the two things, indicating - as for Gusti di Frontiera - the formula "festival" as a magic formula on which to rain funding for four days of celebration (magnificent, says someone who has helped to launch it and make it more interesting than Friuli Doc, as everyone now admits) without feeding a real local restaurant culture, food and wine, an aspect on which Gorizia could tie its relaunch. after having a bet on rock concerts, with great expenditure of means and without any kind of real tourist return.

Everything is held: the destiny of the Provincial Museums is closely linked to that of the Castle Museum with its didactic part on the Middle Ages in Gorizia, with its magnificent Theatrum Instrumentorum, with the Synagogue and its pleasant museum on the Jewish community of Gorizia, with the Coronini - Cronberg Foundation, the legacy of an aristocrat who loved the city, the Libraries, the precious Michelstaedter fund, whose graphic work could finally be enhanced, the Museum of Santa Chiara that Gorizia3. 0 tries to return to its original vocation.

The vocation that is not only to exhibit some finds (not all for charity) that are part of the very interesting and rich religious history of Gorizia but also represent a concrete link with a wider territory, which also includes the founding place of our Region, Aquileia.

If you don't start from here you won't understand anything. Gorizia has a unique and surprising heritage: according to Gorizia3.0, let's hope we are wrong, history, art and culture are the last resources to steal in Gorizia. They're trying: it's clear that to manage such an important network the Municipality of Gorizia is not enough. Did they want to create the UTI? That they make them work also for the development of cultural tourism, trying, risking, putting together the Alto Isontino with the Bassa Friulana, creating new relationships with the Cividalese, making it clear that Gorizia not only exists but in its fantastic cultural, linguistic and historical complexity, is the basis of the regional speciality.


Aquileia and Gorizia