Sisters in Liberty. From Florence to New York is an evocative exhibition project that will be hosted atEllis Island Museum of Immigration from 11 October to 26 April 2020 and that sees two geographically distant realities involved but from a historical, cultural and emotional point of view very close, Florence e New York.
Symbol of this relationship, two immense 'sisters' representing great ideals, namely the Freedom of Poetry, refined sculpture by Pio Fedi placed in Basilica of the Holy Cross as a funeral monument to the patriot Giovan Battista Niccolini, and the majestic one Statue of Liberty di Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, overlooking the bay of Manhattan from the 1886 and which today is one of the best known symbols of the Big Apple.
The two 'Sisters', so similar in attitude and detail, - many believe in fact that the Florentine opera was a source of inspiration for the American one - will find themselves extraordinarily close for the occasion as they a faithful resin reproduction of the statue of Pio Fedi will be exhibited at the exhibition. There Freedom of Poetry was in fact the subject of a 3D scan very high definition, on which the experts of Kent State University of Ohio are still working.
"Sisters in Liberty is a project that will see the presence of the Opera di Santa Croce in the new Ellis Island museum - he says Irene Sanesi, president of the Opera di Santa Croce - thanks to this great affinity, the similarity between the statue of Pio Fedi in Santa Croce and the one, probably even more famous and known, of Ellis Island ".
"The idea of bringing a piece of Florence to a New York museum fills us with pride and happiness. - points out Tommaso Sacchi, Head of the Culture Secretariat of the Municipality of Florence - An event that is in continuity with the idea of developing international relations, starting from the production of culture, of cultural initiatives ".
"The presence of American citizens in Florence is not an episodic fact or a mere reception of visitors," he explains Cristina Giachi, deputy mayor of Florence - it is an identifying trait of the city because American citizens have distinguished themselves for the type of affection that binds them to Florence, the fact that often they are families who return, people who spend moments in their time of their formation, it is an important asset with which we must increasingly learn to weave bonds and future projects. This beautiful New York exhibition is a signal and a representation of this. "
"I think the American tourists who visit Santa Croce are surprised to find a piece of their history here," he points out Paola Vojnovic, curator of the exhibition together with Giuseppe De Micheli.
An exhibition therefore focused on the historical reconstruction of the deep relationship between the Tuscan capital, Europe, New York and America, and which highlights the common path taken in the affirmation of the principles of freedom. An esteem and an affective relationship that over the years has also resulted in the support of hundreds of American donors for major restoration work in the monumental complex of Santa Croce, from the Pazzi Chapel to the Tomb of Michelangelo.
And it is thanks to the valuable contribution of the Foundation Friends of Florence - which is part of the Sisters in Liberty project - which today is the Freedom of Poetry by Pio Fedi is being restored and cleaned, a work entrusted to the care of the restorer Paola Rosa.
"It is thought that the statue of Pio Fedi was used as a model for the Statue of Liberty," he explains Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, president of Friends of Florence - then we, to underline our bond with the United States, given that so many donors are American and our Foundation is located in America, we have decided to support this important restoration. The statue is beautiful although obviously it will not physically go to Ellis Island but will be represented by a creation in 3D. A project that underlines our relationship with Santa Croce and with the American Consulate which is celebrating two hundred years this year. And then it is a perfect union since twenty years ago we dealt with the 'Ratto di Polissena', also by Pio Fedi ”.
The exhibition initiative, the first of its kind for the Opera di Santa Croce, is also connected to the bicentennial of the presence of the American Consulate in Florence.
At the 23 May press conference, besides curators Giuseppe De Micheli and Paola Vojnovic, Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, president of Friends of Florence, Benjamin Wohlaue, United States Consul General, e Fabrizio Ricciardelli, director of the Florence Center of Kent State University. The president of the regional council brought their greetings Eugenio Giani, the deputy mayor of Florence, Cristina Giachi and the head of the Culture Secretariat of the Municipality of Florence, Tommaso Sacchi. The initiative has the support of American Express and Four Seasons Hotels.