mercoledì 16 gennaio 2013

Monte Prama sculptures: where and when?

Fragment of a nuragic statue,
Monte Prama (Cabras, OR, Sardinia)
 From: G. Lilliu, Dal “betilo” aniconico
alla statuaria nuragica, StSard
1975-77, pp. 73-44
On January 14th 2013 there has been an open conference in Cabras (OR, Sardinia), during which Cristiano Carrus (mayor of Cabras) and Sergio Milia (Councillor for Culture of Regione Sardegna), have illustrated the terms of a programme dedicated  to the restored sculptures of  Monte Prama. Specifically, a programme dedicated to their hotly debated final destination and display.
Hotly but apparently uselessly, in that games are over and the project is defined. In short, 6 sculptures should for the moment go the the Civic Museum of  Cabras, homeland of the statues, and 27 to the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. In 2016, after an adequate structure will be built thanks to an incoming  2 million euros grant, Cabras should be able to host the majority of the sculptures - with 4 of them remaining in Cagliari. Last but not least, in spring 2013 archaeologists should start a new excavation campaign at Monte Prama.
This plan, in principle less complicated than it seems, should render tangible the so-called "diffused Museum", theorized by superintendant Marco Minoja, a project that also will involve the restoration center of Li Punti (SS), where the sculptures have been restored and reassembled.
The project of relocation and division has been seriously criticized by a group of people, including several famed archaeologists, who wish the sculptures to be exposed as a unicum in Cabras. The superintendant has replied that considering the statues as a unicum is fantarchaeology, so that it is ultimately not too bad to divide them. Do not ask me which is the rationale of his reasoning, because I never understand him: to my eyes he writes like a byzantine extraterrestrial. Even if  it is true that we do not know a lot about the original context of the statues, this is not a good reason to divide them-not to speak of the fact that they were found together in the same spot: scattered on a necropolis that we have all reasons to believe  is related to the sculptures.
I have signed the petition, although I do believe that it is hopeless, and also that it does not sufficiently remark another real risk: namely that 27 of the sculptures will go to Cagliari, but who knows if they will ever go back to Cabras? The italian Government has ensured, via the last national reform programme, that the Museum of Cagliari will receive 2.500.000 euros for an extensive plan of renovation: according to which a section of the Museum will be "expressly dedicated to the Monte Prama complex". Meaning all or nothing, it could also indicate a multimedial room, but Cabras is not mentioned and I am deadly afraid that the initial six sculptures will remain six forever. Also I hope, with all my heart, that I am wrong.
Let's at least hope that the sculptures will not remain  deposited in a basement store, as they did already, neglected for more that 30 years.