We ask Antonio Luccarini, who has always been immersed in the culture of Ancona and the Marche with true passion and profound knowledge, to evoke what is alternative to mere everyday life, a push capable of reawakening the sensations that are part of our heritage now latent or forgotten.
- Antonio, what can I say? How are we placed from a cultural point of view in this historical moment?
We are as good as ever. From this point of view, Ancona is always the same. There are moments when it actually seems that you are capable of greater attention, of openness.
When I was councilor, both mayor Galeazzi and mayor Sturani understood that culture from a political point of view was strategically important, but it was a period of fat cows and there were resources that could be oriented in that direction.
On the other hand, for many years Ancona had not even had a department of culture, it only had a department of public education and therefore had been starved for many years. Luckily I entered at a time when there had been functional precedents: I think of Pietro Zampetti's department, I think of Giorgio Mangani's department, who was capable of bringing together culture but also entrepreneurship, or rather culture and entrepreneurial dream, because when culture is accompanied by bad travelers it risks being lost, the lion's share is always taken by the economy or the market and the entrepreneur and true culture takes a back seat and risks being enslaved.
However, without getting into controversy, in those days it was easier to carry out cultural operations because one was listened to first of all by the institutions and then above all by the city. The city was breathing a new wind, the Theater of the Muses had to be opened, the organization of the Mole had to be set up.
Now I realize that the situation is much more difficult. Resources are few in times of very thin cows.
– And have sensitivities changed now?
The sensitivities are different from then because at this moment what appears are the strongest urgencies, so culture fades into the background, without thinking, however, that we should be far-sighted because the damage caused by the lack of culture is ignorance and rudeness. There is a lack of "paideia" centers. In the past, when there were no institutions to provide training and culture and when the school did not have sufficient means, there were important training centers such as churches, oratories and party schools where young people could be oriented.
– You who are a tireless man of culture, do you see us asleep?
Not much, at least not dramatically. Ancona often dreams, and therefore it has to do with sleep, but many times it is dreamless sleep and this is dangerous and depressing. We need to understand this: culture in Ancona has a lot to do with the immediate present, whereas culture is the way in which man, the citizen, can experience the three-dimensionality of time: the past, the present and the future. Now the future seems almost denied as long as there is only haze: no one knows what will happen, we are always in a state of suspension. The present is indeed the only certainty, but the present is not enough. If we were only in the present we forget what is in front of us and we don't know which path to take. And so there is a need to give these breaths back and forth.
– If you were still councilor for culture, what is the first thing you would do?
The first thing I would focus on is the valorization of what already exists: this is very important. I'll give you some examples: do you think that in Ancona who knows that he worked in our city as a Stendhal employee? He worked at the port during the Napoleonic period. Who knows that the lover and patron who allowed him to have his first exhibition in Paris in the café de Tambourine was an Ancona native, Agostina Segatori, a sixteen-year-old model who left Italy and joined her aunt in Paris. We ignore many things about past glories. For example Ciriaco Pizzecolli: who knows that the birth of archeology is from Ancona because it was Pizzecolli who promoted it as a science.
Therefore we should start again above all from the valorization of what already exists.
– And the second thing you would do?
Then naturally the valorisation of what already exists is not enough, we must also move to the future. And the future is planning, identifying the forces that at this precise moment in Ancona promise something. Therefore, bring together the forces that are interested in producing culture but not in re-proposing the usual patterns, but also following new paths, not exclusively in the Ancona area, because the walls, which have always constituted a character of closure and caused the asphyxiation of cities on the one hand still exist, even if they are not visible they are there because the people of Ancona look at nothing beyond their own city. And this is an enormous limit and weighs heavily when it causes the defense of existing conditions “Is that how it goes? That's fine". No: we must not be completely reconciled with the present because we must see beyond, beyond the visible and non-visible walls. So in reality also aim for something new, inventiveness, creative ability. These possibilities exist: we need to make them emerge.
- Ancona is the only city in the Marche with an important port for the middle Adriatic, once part of the triad with Ragusa and Venice. Do you think that this strategic point should only be used by the maritime authorities or that it could also be available to the population?
The port is the true identity of the city because its entire life, its history, its culture, its economic prospects see the port as the central element, the starting engine of everything. Therefore the port cannot belong solely to the projects of a port authority or those of port operators. The port is the city itself and in the port the city must have the possibility of frequenting it, naturally respecting what is there. But it cannot be a no-go zone because the port is the identity of the city.
- Thank you for your enlightening reflections. Now we ask you to send a wish to Ancona and the Marche
My hope is that the Marche and Ancona finally become what they truly are, that they do not repress any of their potential.