The cultural revolution brought about by the Prometeus Association in Palmi

Parco Giochi Parpagliolo

The cultural and social non-profit association “Prometeus” is a rather unique associative entity. Since 2007, it has carried out its remarkably successful work in Palmi, a small city located in the Plain of Gioia Tauro, showing undeniable commitment through its attempts to redeem and enhance an area which has a lot to treasure and offer in terms of human and cultural resources.

Coordinated by President Saverio Petitto, the associates have been promoting many initiatives and produced a great number of works and printed publications, managing to involve a large segment of the local population in their activity, meanwhile channeling the efforts of other cultural and business associations from within and outside the Calabrian territory.

The economic value of the works they have carried out and of the culturally and socially invaluable patrimony they have managed to donate or give back to the community adds up to a figure of about 600.000 Euros. They are mainly works of urban renewal, construction of new monuments, squares and green areas and restorations of works of art, aiming to “heighten the communal sense of belonging and promote a renewed interest in cultural identity”. Rather than using public funds, this task was performed thanks to the associates’ unshakable commitment and dedication, as well as the willingness of artisans, artists and inhabitants of this area to offer their unpaid work. The necessary money was collected by means of fund-raising campaigns, private voluntary contributions and 5 x 1000 tax donations (in 2012 for example, Prometeus was ranked 1334th on a list of 37.000 associations and other grantees).

Their interest and joint effort have borne many fruits, such as: the artistic banner depicting the Varia (a processional structure dedicated to Our Lady of the Holy Letter) and kept at the “De Zerbi” Elementary school; the reliquary containing the Sacred Hat of Our Lady of the Holy Letter, realized with precious marbles by the architect Carmelo Bagalà and decorated with a bas-relief executed by master Maurizio Carnevali, which can be admired in the Main Cathedral of Palmi; the monument to Saint Rocco, a bronze statue by artist Carnevali depicting the peregrine from Montpellier and located in the square which bears his name; the restoration of the “Fontana dei Canali” (Channels’ Fountain), a symbol of the working class and peasant society, now enriched by the works of Fabio Belloni, Achille Cofano and Maurizio Carnevali; a digital fresco representing Our Lady of the Holy Letter, painted on the outer wall of the Pio Xth Salon; the roundabout of Via Concordato, adorned by two old millstone wheels donated by Giuseppe Ortuso; the “Parpagliolo” playground, a multi-level green area located in the city centre; a memorial stone to Mario Bagalà. The Association’s endeavors are equally significant in the editorial field, where they have brought to the publication of volumes, such as “Votalatrippa” I and II, “‘a Variata”, “Palmi e il terremoto del 1908” , the monthly magazine “Madreterra” and many other works. Furthermore, a wide range of social events ad projects  deserve to be mentioned, especially those dedicated to the younger generations and local pupils, like “il Pappamondo” and “La città è dei ragazzi”.

The Revolution started by the Prometeus Association – which even became the main theme for a thesis in Economics – springs from its capability to involve a whole community, stimulating the intervention of private citizens and local entities, who have shown to be receptive to the ideas promoted by the associates through their time-consuming and energy-absorbing activity for the city of Palmi.

A new impressive work, the Fisher Monument carved by the artist Achille Cofano, is going to be inaugurated in the month of July on the Seaside Promenade La Tonnara in Palmi. It certainly is a further step towards the preservation of the history and traditions of a city which, in the words of president Saverio Petitto, “is only bound for improvement on condition that it will be able to respectfully look back on its own past and cultural heritage”.