In 1339, the Italian painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti finished one of his most famous masterpieces, The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, a series of three fresco adorning the walls of the Council Chamber in the Palazzo Pubblico of the city of Siena, Italy. Large scale reproductions of these frescoes will be on display until June 3, 2016 in Oaxaca, Mexico in an exhibit entitled Cor Magis. The Common Good. Frescoes of the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena. The exhibit is organized by AVSI Foundation in partnership with the Alfredo Harp Helú Oaxaca Foundation and is sponsored by the Peace and Reconciliation Council of Oaxaca, the Italian Embassy and the Italian Institute of Culture in Mexico City.
Prominently displayed in the colonial complex of the San Pablo Cultural Centre, in Oaxaca, one of the artistic and cultural capitals of southern Mexico, the exhibit was inaugurated on March 5 by the Italian Ambassador to Mexico, Alessandro Busacca, along with the AVSI Foundation country representative in Mexico, Rossana Stanchi, and representatives of the Alfredo Harp Helú Oaxaca Foundation.
The choice to display these frescoes in Oaxaca is far from arbitrary. The main purpose of the exhibit is to convey the idea that peace and social unity are the result of every person’s involvement and participation in society. Lorenzetti’s work has a clear message in this regard. He contrasts the allegory of good government, where citizens live in order and harmony with that of bad government where the forces of Cruelty, Deceit, Fraud, Fury, Division, and War reign and the city comes to ruin.
As part of the project, a team of young volunteers from Oaxaca will train to become tour guides. They will learn how to guide local visitors, school groups and tourists, and teach them how to appreciate one of the most important artistic productions of 14th-century Italy, which still has something to say to our times.
The event is part of the "Year of Italy in Latin America", an initiative sponsored by the (Italian/Mexican?) Foreign Ministry in partnership with the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities. Various businesses have also contributed to make the exhibit possible.
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