Music and sculpture, two intertwined arts that have found their way into the gallery of plaster casts named after the teacher Michele Guerrisi and the adjacent museum named after the musician and composer Francesco Cilea. Artistic settings that highlight the works of two great Calabrians in the expansive Casa della Culture of Palmi. Cilea and Guerrisi have acheived national and international success in the cultural landscape of the 1900s. The sculptor Guerrisi, native of Cittanova, testifies, in a tangible way, to the esteem and the profound respect for Cilea, undertaking projects for beautification of the mausoleum which stands in Piazza Pentimalli, in Palmi, which houses the remains of the composer. Above the crypt, Guerrisi has created eight bas-relief marble statues representing the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and a large statue depicting the muse Erato.
Also within the gallery, on display are numerous plaster casts of bronze sculptures of Guerrisi, mostly classically inspired. The latest works completed by him are part of a private collection or of Italian and foreign historical sites. The sculptor also produced some of the most important war memorials located today in the cities of Calabria: besides Palmi and in his hometown Cittanova, they can be found as well in Siderno and Catanzaro; and certainly the monument to Ibico of Reggio Calabria and one which depicts the painter Mattia Preti in Taverna, Catanzaro.
In addition to numerous plaster casts of Guerrisi, inside the gallery you can admire some works of the sculptors Nicola Gullì, Alessandro Monteleone, Vincenzo and Francesco Jerace as well as canvases by Antonio Cannata, Attilio Zagari and Giuseppe Palumbo. Marta Rempte, wife of Michael Guerrisi, donated an extensive collection of watercolors.
The section dedicated to Francesco Cilea instead collects scores, manuscripts and numerous documents related to the activities of the composer whose operas are performed worldwide. Especially important is the correspondence of the master: about five thousand letters. There are many miniatures built by his brother Michele Cilea and of course, a rich music library. A space has been reserved for Nicola Antonio Manfroce, musician and composer who died in 1813, from Palmi, who is best known for the works Elzira and Hecuba.
Visiting these places definitely makes aware of being part of a culturally active community and in general to understand that we are heirs to a legacy that we must learn about, share and protect.