Pisa, 26 September 2021 – That of the University Library of Pisa it is one of those endless stories, a bit Italian, one might say, which tell the miserable fate of cultural institutions left to their fate.
Two kilometers of books, a part of his immense and precious heritage, are now leaving for a warehouse in Piacenza, therefore far from Pisa and accessible, to those who request it, only via photocopy or scanner. “I tried in every way to avoid this solution, but none of the institutions we consulted responded to our request for help. We are now second-class institutions” regrets director Daniele Cianchi. But how Have we arrived at this sad last page of such an important body owned by Mibac?
from nine years, from 29 May 2012, the Bup is closed and its heritage divided into three different places, between Pisa and Lucca. Its headquarters since 1823 was the fifteenth-century Palazzo della Sapienza of which it occupies the north-west wings of the noble floor, with its priceless paper treasures (over 700 thousand volumes). The closure followed the disastrous earthquake that in that year caused serious damage in Emilia and which, a curious and unique case in Italy, hit a specific point in the city of Pisa, namely the Palazzo della Sapienza.
Closed by decree of the rector, for security reasons: but to many, right from the start, this appeared to be a way to close the building that the BUP shared with the Faculty of Law, and an attempt, not too hidden, by the University to try to take back the whole building, perfect as a representative office. Since then, a back and forth between the University and Mibac, on which the BUP depends, began to finance the safety measures. It finally arrived in 2018 with the reopening of the portion of the building used by the university, but not of the part pertaining to the Bup, which remained closed. It is also to blame for the delays in funding from the Ministry and in the planning of recovery.
But that’s not all. Because now, as the locations where his material has been divided are in need of work, new space is needed. For months the director Cianchi had been looking for a temporary deposit for two kilometers of shelves crammed with books, selected from among the least consulted texts. But no one, from the State to the Municipality, from the Ministry to the University, has responded to his appeal. All this in a city that abounds with empty public buildings. Hence the last resort: to entrust, through a public tender, to a company in Perugia, an expert in the sector, the removal and storage of the 2 km of volumes that will find a home in Piacenza by December.
The news partly awakened public opinion in Pisa, where indeed only a few intellectuals, including Adriano Prosperi – who in 2012 together with Chiara Frugoni had founded the association of Amici Bup -, but no political force other than the group ” A city in common “(radical left). “How long will we have to tolerate this shame? – comments Prosperi -. What does the Minister of Culture think? And the city government? Since 2012, when the Library was closed, not only has it never returned to its original location, but when he tried to knock on the door of national and local authorities, he had to realize that something serious had happened: everyone had forgotten about it “.
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