twelve o’clock, July 9, 2021 – 9:39 am
The president Renata De Lorenzo after the hypothesis that she can leave Naples: we have premises in the Municipality, the Maschio Angioino has its own museum vocation. We can not only fix them shortly but also make them accessible to the public
of Giancristiano Desiderio
Renata De Lorenzo chairs the Neapolitan Society of Homeland History and on the case of the library of Giuseppe Galasso, raised yesterday by the Corriere del Mezzogiorno, she has clear ideas: There are the municipal premises, the Maschio Angioino has its own historical vocation which is expressed with the Museum, the great Galasso library dedicated to the history of the South, the National History Society able not only to immediately arrange those texts but also to make them available and make them enter the national bibliographic circuit, so why waste such a cultural heritage ?. Yes, why?
Meanwhile, there is a not insignificant practical problem: the transport of 45 thousand volumes from Naples to Rome. Anyone who has to do with the book heritage knows that moving texts, volumes, essays, magazines is not at all easy. In fact, Galasso’s books are still where he left them: at his home. The practical difficulty re-emerges the possibility of adopting the solution of the Neapolitan Society of Homeland History: Let’s pay attention – says Professor De Lorenzo, a student of Galasso – we are talking about books that we at Storia Patria are able to make immediately usable. The same thing would not happen with the Roman solution and I believe that if the books are moved to the Lincei, as long as it is possible to transport tens and tens of thousands of volumes to Rome, they would be destined to be temporarily parked in the basements of the Academy. But we know that what is provisional often becomes definitive. Frankly, I would avoid this path and, perhaps, even Professor Galasso’s family should ask themselves the question. Instead, it is better to take the path of a cultural project that the Society of Homeland History is able to make immediately operational. Of course, the role of the municipal administration is needed. Here, unfortunately, the relationship between the professor and the de Magistris administration played a negative role. But do we really want to conceive such an important thing in such a small way?
Who would have paid attention to the fate of Galasso’s inheritance was undoubtedly Nino Daniele who held the role of councilor for culture in the administration of Luigi de Magistris. De Lorenzo herself, at the time of Galasso’s disappearance, spoke with Daniele about what to do. But then things changed, Daniele no longer councilor and a little bit everything fell into oblivion. In the meantime, the Society of Homeland History was responsible for the publication of the volume Giuseppe Galasso Storico – edited by Renata De Lorenzo and Aurelio Musi – and dedicated the main room of the prestigious headquarters of the Society to the memory of Galasso. As if to say that, from the beginning, we have always moved in the right direction. The piece of books is missing that in the project outlined by De Lorenzo should become the Giuseppe Galasso Library and should have the arrangement in the large rooms, on the second floor, right in front of the entrance of the same library of Storia Patria, of the Castel Nuovo. What is there now in those premises? The municipal commissions which, given the natural vocation of the Maschio Angioino for the culture and the museum dimension, can be moved elsewhere.
Today the library cannot and should not be conceived as a deposit – says Professor De Lorenzo – and perhaps it has never been conceived like this. But one thing is certain: the Society is able to arrange Galasso’s texts and put them online – the cataloging already exists – and, therefore, to immediately give them a new life, while the common belief should have both the interest and the ‘moral obligation to guarantee the premises which, I repeat, are not to be sought or invented but which exist right in front of the National History Society. So, why not help one of the most important and historic cultural societies of the city, recognized in Italy and Europe, and carry out the project that Galasso’s own work invites us and pushes us to do?
In fact, what is striking about this story, which would be incredible if it did not have the precedent of Gerardo Marotta’s texts – which, however, are not cataloged – that the work of Galasso, so linked to the South and through the South to Italy and to Europe, it flows in a completely simple and spontaneous way into the Neapolitan Society of Homeland History. Perhaps Galasso, also following the teaching of his ideal teacher, Benedetto Croce, should have solved the problem himself, rather than leaving the task to his family and heirs in a broad sense. But no one, hopefully, will want to blame him. To each his duties. It is good that at Palazzo San Giacomo – which, however, is moving towards the replacement – they pick up the book that the two students – De Lorenzo and Musi – have dedicated to the master and read the first lines, where it is said that remembering Galasso does not only mean to remember his historical and historiographical work, but also the close link between culture and civil life that had animated the entire biographical path of the master.