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Capital of culture 2019: Matera - from the misery in the limelight

Matera is today in Italy-tourists as a secret tip. In 2019, the city in the South of the country, even the European capital of culture. A few years ago this was

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Capital of culture 2019: Matera - from the misery in the limelight

Matera is today in Italy-tourists as a secret tip. In 2019, the city in the South of the country, even the European capital of culture. A few years ago this was still inconceivable.

Marta Ragozzino is on the probably most beautiful terrace of Matera. Born in Milan, has found her happiness. She is the Director of the state art Museum in the beautiful Palazzo Lanfranchi. Matera, the European capital of culture 2019, it looks like a large Christmas crib in front of a rocky fairy-tale landscape.

"picture of misery"

In Ragozzinos Museum of medieval and modern art hangs a picture, explain a lot about Matera and its surroundings. It's called "Lucania 61". A work of art with gigantic dimensions: 18,50 meters and 3.20 meters high. The Panorama shows a Matera, has described the sister of the painter, who was also a doctor and a writer, himself:

"The doors were due to the heat, and I saw in the Interior of the caves, which receive light and air only through the door. Some do not even have such, it rises from the top of the case, doors or podium. [...] On the ground, dogs, sheep, goats and pigs were. In General, each family has only one such cave, and all sleep together, men, women, children, and animals. So, 20,000 people are living. [...] I have never beheld such a picture of misery [...]."

for the Nine months Matera shape today

The Text comes from Carlo Levi's book "Christ stopped at Eboli," which was filmed in the 1970s. Therein, Levi describes his political exile in Basilicata, in the Region of Matera.

The fascists had him deported back here, to the poorhouse of Italy, in which people died at that time still a mass of Malaria. "The exile of Levi in the Basilicata was fundamental for the history of this Region, so that today, if you think you have taken years," says Ragozzino. "It was only nine months - from August 1935 to may 1936."

Nevertheless, there had been nine very important months in which Levi had built up a very close bond to the Region. "He was pardoned, went to France, and again the resistance, to hide for a couple of months in Florence."

There he was then "Christ came only posted to Eboli". "A Manifesto," says Ragozzino, "a very important book not only for southern Italy, but for the history of our country, perhaps even the history of Europe".

The city of cavemen

mainly, however, it is a book that has changed the history of Matera, because of Levi's descriptions, have met a lot of Italians as a school reading, ensured that the whole country from the town of cave people took note. Between 15,000 and 20,000 lived in a very small space under catastrophic hygienic conditions.

The infant mortality rate was as high as anywhere else in Italy, told Ragozzino. Therefore, people in the 1950s and 1960s had been relocated from the Sassi, the two historical parts of the city of Matera. You are one of the three oldest, continuously inhabited settlements on earth.

Influenced by the Greek culture

Since 8000 years - some even since 12,000 years ago - people lived in the caves of Matera, more than 2000 years, in a form of settlement that had brought the ancient Greeks to southern Italy, tells Pietro Laureano. The Professor has engaged intensively with the history of Matera.

"This was a city after the ancient Greek model," says Laureano. "In the Greek Polis, they went to work in the field, but in the evening they met on the Forum. They discussed, went to the theatre to listen to Aeschylus. Here the Tradition of Magna Graecia. Here farmers, who dressed in the evening, elegant and on the square to Discuss met lived."

farmers behind urban walls. In the South of Italy has kept this Greek Tradition for a long time.

Matera - European capital of culture in 2019
Tassilo Forchheimer, ARD Rome
22.12.2018 15:29 PM

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Aarhus: New perspectives for a whole Region, 27.12.2017 Matera - European capital of culture 2019, Tassilo Forchheimer, ARD Rom |audio Atlas |Italy |Matera

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