A year ago at the end of June, after the pink and then red paint thrown on her, a puppet was placed on the statue of Indro Montanelli in the gardens of via Palestro: it depicted a girl, the twelve-year-old bride that the journalist bought in Eritrea during the Italian occupation and of which abus as a colonial soldier. The activist-artist (as he calls himself) was Cristina Donati Meyer e his gesture, then immediately removed, today crystallizes for at least two years (later the works in this room will be changed) in the permanent exhibition inaugurated today at Mudec– Museum of cultures, entitled Global Milan.
A choice that does not bring and does not put everyone in agreement. The work is part of a journey that, through 510 objects, tells the birth, seen from Milan, of the concepts of imperialism, mercantilism, colonialism, the interconnected world and globalization from 1500 to the present day. The reproduction of the statue of Montanelli with the same puppet in his arms that appeared in the park, entitled The old man and the little girl, finds its place in the fourth room which, anticipating the works of Afro-descendant artists, offers a reflection between past and present of the colonial heritage.
the controversy over cancel culture, on the error of looking at the past with the eyes and the moral codes of today, find no space in the rooms: no censorship possible in an attempt to reflect on a phenomenon that Italy has never really come to terms with, explain the organizers of the exhibition. important – says al Courier service the director of Mudec Anna Maria Montaldo – focus attention on the fact that this work is part of a journey, of a museum story that we have studied in recent years and which in this last room dedicated to the passage from colonial Milan to multicultural Milan. If we had censored a work by an artist chosen by the curator, we would have limited the work and representation of the museum. A multicultural museum and a polyphonic tale should not be afraid to exhibit a similar work. I believe that Milan can also afford to represent different interpretations of do not present a single thought but many thoughts. Adding that it does not detract from the greatness of the journalist. But this is an episode of his life that is part of history, of the chronicle, and therefore not including it in this story would have meant self-censorship.
The same Donati Mayer, in commenting on his performance in the gardens of via Palestro, he explained: It was not my intention to deface the monument, quite the contrary. That statue had, after over a decade, a fundamental role to rekindle a discussion and reflection, never made in Italy, on what the Italian invasion in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Albania and Libya meant. To conclude that we should all be grateful to the monument to Montanelli, which – acting in some cases as a scapegoat – has allowed many Italians to know and deal with a horrible past.
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September 16, 2021 | 18:24
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