THE MUSEUM OF ANCIENT PARCHMENTS IN BIANCHI (CALABRIA, ITALY): A SPACE FOR MEMORY AND HISTORY

History and memory are important, because they not only communicate to us what we have been, but they open windows on the future. This is the meaning of the Museum of ancient Parchements  which the Municipal Administration of Bianchi (Cosenza, Calabria, South Italy) intends to increasingly enhance and promote, as confirmed by the mayor prof. Pasquale Taverna, and the deputy mayor, Rino Pascuzzo.

Mayor and deputy mayor accompanied me on a visit to the Museum, which is a full part of Bianchi’s history and originally formed thanks to the noble Accattatis family, to which it is named. The origin of Bianchi – around the year 1600 – is linked to the arrival of some families, including the Accattatis, who had moved from nearby Scigliano to the territory of Bianchi.

Exactly 200 years ago, in 1820, Bianchi was recognized as an autonomous municipality with its own civil status registers. And it is significant that the Municipal Administration, precisely in coincidence of this anniversary, has decided to revive and redevelop the spaces of the Museum of the Scrolls, which was established in 1984 on the proposal of the deceased cav. Luigi Elvio Accattatis, grandson of the famous academic Luigi Accattatis, author among other things of the Calabrian dialectal vocabulary. In 2004 the private writing scheme was approved for the donation of the historical archive of the Accattatis family to the Municipality of Bianchi and the “Museum of Scrolls and Historical Documents” was established.
In the Civic Museum of the Municipality of Bianchi it is possible to admire ancient parchments that are of considerable historical value. The most important documents date back to the 17th century and others even to the 16th century; there are also some scrolls signed by Charles V of Spain, others by Frederick II and Frederick IV of the Aragonese, a papal bull signed by Benedict XII. Among the historical documents, some notary deeds of 1198 and 1221 of the empress Constance are very interesting.

The Museum offers an excursus on local history and past events through the testimonies contained in the parchments of the protagonists of the time. It is an interesting historical documentation that testifies to the cultural trace in Bianchi’s history. Some parchments have been exhibited at the “Exhibition of the ancient books in Calabria” set up at the National Library of Cosenza. Rare bibliographic and artistic works that have contributed to enriching the historical value of the exhibition.

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