Preserving and promoting the Biblioteca Capitolare’s heritage.
Those who came before us managed to preserve an immense cultural heritage for over 1,600 years. Verona’s geographic, historic and political position transformed its Scriptorium into a complex center of the late Roman, Gothic, Christian and Renaissance culture. In short, one of the most important centers for the development of human knowledge in the Western world. The main purpose of the Fondazione is to allow this heritage to continue its contribution to humanity, “for at least another 1600 years”.
For centuries, the Biblioteca Capitolare (Capitular Library) has been in the care of Verona’s Canons of the Chapter. The changed needs in terms of protection and enhancing of its collections, however, have requested its organization to evolve.
The Foundation stems from the will of its founding members – the Canons of the Chapter themselves, together with a group of entrepreneurs lead by the Bauli family – who embraced the Chapter’s ancient purposes, reinterpreting them in a modern and dynamic way.
Over the next five years the Fondazione Biblioteca Capitolare (FBC), supported by the Egyptian Museum of Turin, plans on developing and implementing a Master Plan with the aim of relaunching three strongly intertwined working areas:
The consultation area: it will remain the Biblioteca Capitolare’s main heart, but it urgently needs a digitalization work, and a general securing to safeguard the Library’s collections.
The research activity: it is essential to guarantee the Biblioteca Capitolare’s very existence in the long run. It will be developed thanks to a partnership with the University of Verona, but also with other cultural centers, both at a national and international level. In addition, the Restoration and Conservation laboratory will be re-established.
The Museum area: including guided tours, exhibitions, shared exhibitions (also offsite), educational workshops, events and conferences: all these activities are aimed at making the Biblioteca Capitolare’s treasures known, and to provide economical support to the overall process.
In the renewed millenary rooms, visitors will be able to relive the experience of the guardians of knowledge over the centuries. They will be able to marvel at the unique displays, attend events related to the ancient knowledge, handle tools and try techniques of the past, and witness restoration activities.
The operating area of the FBC includes the Library’s rooms and the Chapter’s picture gallery, looking out to the 12th century cloister, the bank of River Adige and Verona’s Piazza Duomo (Dome Square). Beside defining the action plans, the Master Plan will identify the structural and environmental needs that will serve as the guidelines for the redesigning of the buildings.
The Foundation performs its ordinary activities with its own management and economic capabilities, while, for investments, it relies on the support of institutions and individuals who share the FBC’s purposes, and consider it a guarantee of constant commitment and high quality.
The main Master Plan project, which redefines activities, organization and spaces, will be flanked by extraordinary repairs, belaying of the real estate and preservation of the books. These measures will be divided into three main phases:
- Structure and development of the Master plan – 18 months – investment: 150k €
- Extraordinary repairs of the Pacifico and Maffei halls – 24 months – investment: 560k €
- Master Plan implementation – 5 years – cost to be defined.
The first action plan of the Foundation, launched at the end of 2019, covers the first two developing phases with different operational projects.