“Post fata resurgam” – renewal paths
With these Latin words, meaning “After death I will resurrect”, Canon Giuseppe Turrini – director of the Biblioteca Capitolare – commented on the library’s reopening in 1948.
Tradition attributes this motto to the phoenix, a legendary bird which is born again from the ashes of its own fire: the same way, the library was reviving after the catastrophic World War II. Just like the mythical creature rises again and again until it becomes almost immortal, so the Biblioteca Capitolare has known many phases of crisis and rebirth along its millenary history.
The exhibition celebrates the library’s extraordinary resilience: in fact, the Capitolare faced several misfortunes along the centuries, threats that jeopardized the library’s integrity and sometimes its very survival. Every single time, however, it rose again, as a pulsing heart of the European culture. The exhibit will focus especially on the last 4 centuries, each one marked by one of these tragedies: the terrible plague of 1630 and the consequent disappearing of many precious manuscripts; the Napoleonic troops’ plunder in 1797; the grave damages caused by a flood in 1882, and at last the devastating bombing that destroyed the library in 1945.
The display includes some records of these events: chronicles, memories, books and documents damaged by the flood and the explosion. They will be combined by traces of the rebirth: magnificent manuscripts and printed books that were luckily recovered, patiently retrieved and restored, hidden and protected with care and dedication.
Part of the exhibit will be stable, including “Il gran contagio di Verona” (Verona’s great contagion, written in 1631 by a Veronese doctor), the original sequestration acts, and other books and objects witnessing those incidents. Other valuable texts, being very delicate, will be shown in rotations.
During this very peculiar historical moment, we wish to dedicate this exhibition to all our visitors, at the reopening of the library after the long lockdown caused by the current health emergency. In the records of the past, we hope to find inspiration for our own future, to restart as on phoenix’s wings.
Info & tickets
The guided tour in English is available every Friday at 11:00 AM (guided tours on Monday, Thurday, Saturday and Sunday are in Italian only)
Tickets: 10€ (5€ under 14 years of age. Free entry for children under the age of 10)
+39 331 594 69 61
Biblioteca Capitolare, Piazza Duomo 19 (Verona)