At the Palazzo della Cultura in Reggio Calabria, a treasure returned to the community

palazzo della culturaLast Saturday in Reggio Calabria was inaugurated a permanent exhibition at the Palacultura, of 104 paintings seized from a well-known entrepreneur of the “Ndrangheta” in Reggio Calabria. It is seen as a real treasure for its value of  several million euro. By Dali in Fontana, Sironi, De Chirico, from Ligabue to Carra, were the works which furnished the different homes and various rooms of the entrepreneur (even the bathroom!), A unique collection that returns to the community and becomes the pride and joy of the great Palazzo della Cultura.

“It may seem a marginal, but this operation, strongly supported by Edoardo Lamberti, councillor for culture for the province of RC, and other local institutions, has a meaning that goes beyond the contingency: private wealth owned by a member of the new mafia bourgeoisie is expropriated and becomes an asset available free of charge to the whole community, a common good. “- says the economist from Reggio, Tonino Perna (The Manifesto) – who adds “and that’s not all.  On the same day, Umberto Postiglione, from the National agency  for the Seized and Confiscated assets of Organized crime, presented to the municipality of Reggio 21 properties to be used for social purposes, 19 housing units to be allocated to commercial activities with the proceeds of the rent to be allocated to social projects, and 24 residential properties to be allocated to the most disadvantaged social groups.”

“We know well that the system of social destination for these assets, thanks to Law 109/96 demanded by Libera at the time who gathered a million signatures, is still inefficient and cumbersome, but what matters is the direction. We’re going, in fact, towards a redistribution of wealth that passes from the hands of the bourgeoisie “mafia”to the new emerging social class, that of youth cooperatives that cultivate confiscated lands, public spaces, social services and local entities.” and he concludes “From these confiscations of property and businesses, another economy can grow based on fair trade principles and solidarity economy networks. In a nutshell: the putrefaction of capitalism, of which the criminal economy is a constituent part, may emerge a type of socialism possible in the XXI century. ”

An enlightening analysis by Perna which we hope places the right emphasis on Calabria of good practices and gives us the hope of being on the right track.

A successful challenge, . And not the only one.  In the beautiful Palacultura, overlooking the Strait, are so many surprises.  An entire floor is dedicated to the amazing collection “St. Paul,” with a number of Russian icons of inestimable value, the Archangel Saint Michael and the dragon once attributed to Antonello of Messina, his face scarred as is found in many effigies of saints in a bombarded land by Turkish invasions.

“A signal and a warning; the symbol of the recovery of assets returned to the community,” repeats Lamberti, stating that entry will be free as well as the service provided by the young guides who are prepared to recount in English, French and Spanish as well as German and Arabic, our culture to foreign visitors.

Proof that art and culture are the strongest weapon in the struggle for the rule of law!