Italian film director Ettore Scola - the man who captured decades of Italian society on film - died on Tuesday, January 19th at age 84 after a long and incredibly successful career, during which he earned a Golden Globe and five Oscar nominations.
Throughout the last 40 years, his contribution to Italian and international cinema has been such that various prominent figures from actress Sophia Lauren to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi have expressed their sorrow at the loss of such an important and talented artist and many were present at the public ceremony held today, January 21st, at the Casa del Cinema in Rome to say their final goodbyes.
The Italian Cultural Institute in New York recently showcased two remarkable installation pieces by Italian artist and receiver of this year’s Gotham Prize, Daniele Puppi. We had the opportunity to discuss with him these works of “re-animated cinema”, the concept behind them, his inspiration and his take on the experimental art scene in New York.
In light of the major backlash caused by her statements during a live interview, French Minister Ségolène Royal publically apologizes for her attack on Nutella, in which she urged people to boycott the Italian product on the –inaccurate – basis of it being harmful for the environment and causing deforestation for the production of palm oil.
On May 26th, the special unit of the Carabinieri police devoted to the protection of cultural heritage recovered three frescoes stolen from Pompeii and smuggled out of Italy in 1957 along with other ancient artworks that had ended up in the United States through the illegal art market. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini took the opportunity to address the grave issue of defending the world’s cultural heritage from increasing threats, whether it be in the form of illegal trafficking or of targeted destruction by terrorist groups like ISIS.
It has now been ten years since Antonio Monda and Davide Azzolini held the first edition of their literary festival “Le Conversazioni”, on the beautiful island of Capri. Since then the event has grown and now takes place in four different cities spanning over 3 continents. The festival takes the form of casual yet sophisticated discussions between notorious intellectual figures. We met with the organizers during their annual New York preview at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Merimò and talked about the event’s inception and about what’s to be expected from the season’s NYC events at the Morgan Library, at the NY Historical Society, and at the Guggenheim.
On April 23rd a new exhibit opened at New York University’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò featuring the paintings and jewelry of the famous 20th century Italian artist, Afro Basaldella. With his natural talent for cultivating relationships within the art world, Afro was a fundamental figure in building relationships between Europe and the United States. He was one of the very first transatlantic artists, navigating American artists, buyers and curators through the Italian art scene.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi travelled to D.C. to seek the White House’s endorsement for his ambitious economic program. According to a White House statement, the two state leaders will meet on Friday to tackle other topics including the stabilization of Libya, U.S.-EU unity on Ukraine, and the need to counter extremist groups throughout the Middle East.
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has decided to create a new grant in order to support the ongoing “Save the Saint” restoration process, which aims to restore the Duomo of Milan and its 135 spires, including the one featuring Saint Francesca Cabrini, the first ever American citizen to be officially made a Saint by the Catholic Church. As a naturalized US citizen, the figure of Mother Cabrini is very significant to all Italian Americans.
New York University’s Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò is hosting an exhibit titled “By Hand and by Lens”, featuring the works of ten talented Italian-American artists, all members of IAVANET (the Italian American Visual Artists Network). The show, on view through April 17, provides a great opportunity to come into contact with these artists, their varied artworks, and also their Italian-American identity, the common factor that unites and drives their work.
Salon/Sanctuary Concerts offers the New York public the opportunity to “travel” to Medieval Florence, Italy through two extraordinary musical performances featuring an organist from the Duomo of Florence and a globally acclaimed countertenor from across the Atlantic.