The Holy Land is a pilgrimage destination for numerous faithful from all over the world who can reach here the pivotal places of the stories recorded in the Gospels. During the Easter season, which has just passed, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher was the meeting point for all those who wished to relive the pivotal moments of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
A monument capable of arousing, still after centuries, an evocative fascination in the eyes of faithful and non-faithful alike, the Holy Sepulcher has undergone in recent months careful restoration work on the flooring. This circumstance gave rise to the idea of preparing the exhibition “Witness to the Resurrection,”aimed at telling the story of the famous holy place thanks to the testimonies, and in particular the illustrations, of the travel and pilgrimage diaries to the Holy Land placeable between the 15th and 19th centuries,preserved in the General Library of the Custody of the Holy Land.
The success of the exhibition in Jerusalem
The initiative is part of the project “Books Bridges of Peace,” conceived by Professor Edoardo Barbieri and carried out thanks to the collaboration of some students and researchers from the Catholic University of Milan, under the patronage of the Custody of the Holy Land and Pro Terra Sancta.
The exhibition was held in the premises of the Custody’s Curia in Jerusalem from November 7 to 11, and in view of its remarkable success (about 800 visitors were registered in five days), a panel exhibition of the same was also prepared to be offered in Italy.
The initiative, supported by the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, was well received. The exhibition, titled “The Holy Sepulcher: A Monument in History,” aimed at leading visitors to discover this unique place, thanks to the digitization of numerous illustrations from travelogues selected for the November exhibition, saw as its first stop the Catholic University of Milan. On Jan. 24, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new academic year of the School of Specialization in Archaeological Heritage, the 15 travel panels discovering the history of the Holy Sepulchre were set up on the grand staircase.
The exhibition in Tortona and Milano
On March 23, however, it was the turn of Tortona, which, within the premises of the Diocesan Museum, thanks to the support of the “Ugo Rozzo” Study Center, the Tortona Library System and the historical association “Pro Iulia Derthona,” hosted the exhibition. The exhibition, opened in the presence of local dignitaries, including the Bishop of the Diocese of Tortona, Monsignor Guido Marini, was also enriched with some archival and book treasures from the main local cultural institutions, as well as some antique prints from private collections.
Finally, the third stop of the exhibition was the church of S. Francesca Romana in Milan, in the Porta Venezia area In the side chapel, in fact, the inauguration was held on April 4, with an opening lecture given, on this occasion as in the other opening ceremonies, by Prof. Edoardo Barbieri.
By Maddalena Baschirotto