All posts for the month May, 2013


Published May 17, 2013 by Tony


The eating disorders are on the rise (a sort of DSM), especially among women, and not only among adolescents, because today even forties chase a stereotypical model of beauty, with the illusion of stopping time and find a sexier body.
In Italy, this problem affects 5% of women and becomes a social problem.
Yet, the death of Isabelle Caro, the French fashion model who made scandal for her photos for a campaign against anorexia, should serve as a warning.
In Italy, about 0.8% of the population suffer from anorexia, but a much greater proportion suffer from eating disorders, of which 9 out of 10 are female.
The true Anorexia leads women to get excited for their thinness, to maintain at all costs and become fasting-dependent. The next step is bulimia, a worse condition because it is not about thinness that can lead to death, but thru the bad and constant habit to eat and vomit or purging, even with the use of drugs.
The reflection is not to be done on standards of beauty but rather on the media mechanisms that induce these canons, especially for women at an age close to menopause. Once, at that age women no longer had the duty to express sexual signals, becoming free.
Today, also this freedom is vanishing.


Published May 13, 2013 by Tony


 "Birth of Venus" by Botticelli

Back to what I have repeatedly stated, namely that Italy is the country with the biggest  concentration of works of art and archaeological finds in the world, the realization that major foreign museums ask for some works to be exhibited in their cities, this endorse my statement.
Works of art that come and go, becoming “loans” worldwide. It seems that nowadays the positive image of Italy is more “conveyed” by its "wooden Crucifix" by Cimabuemasterpieces.

The most beautiful archaeological remains of Pompeii are currently on display in London, and it is a recent news that the “wooden Crucifix” by Cimabue and the “Dancing Satyr” of Mazara del Vallo will be exhibited in a museum in the United States.
In 2010 fifty masterpieces of the Italian Baroque of inestimable value were exposed to the Smithsonian Institute in Florida and in the Italian Museum of Fitzgerald Foundation of Florence, while last July, 67 works of art from Florence,  they were useful to the Chinese to celebrate the centenary of the birth the National Museum in Beijing."Dancing Satyr", Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C., Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C.
Many Sicilian artworks are around:  the Auriga‘s marble from museum of Mozia, a work unique in its kind, sent to London as a result of trade agreements at the Olympic Games, and now in Malibu, in the Getty Museum, where it will be on display until August 2013; the Efebo of Selinunte is located in Shanghai on display at the exhibition organized for the Triennial, which will close on January, 2013; the Dancing Satyr, sculpture of extraordinary beauty attributed to the school of Lysippos, from Mazara del Vallo is in Shanghai for the Expo, along with the “Aries” from the archaeological Museum of Efebo of Selinunte
Salinas in Palermo.
Yet, the Satyr, Aries and Auriga are part of the twenty-one works that should be immovable, but, on the contrary, they continue to travel by special permits that let them be away also for long periods.
In 2007 there was controversy on the “Annunciation” by Leonardo, which left Italy to reach Tokyo. And while the borrowing request about  the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli of some non-European countries is still being considered, the foreign tour of “Riace bronzes” has always been rejected by the archaeological superintendent of Calabria, events that reopen the debate on whether or not works of arts, preserved in our museums, should  travel around.Riace bronzes

I do not want to be accused of catastrophism, but those who has even a bit of acquaintance with this subject knows that the displacement of ancient works is always a risk, even without wanting to get to extreme cases such as the “Le peintre” by Pablo Picasso, destroyed in a plane crash on September 2, 1998
In addition, beyond the risks, an ethic issue should give any visitor, especially if coming from a distance, the right to find in a museum every work that is there stored.

"Annunciation" by LeonardoAnd last but not the least, the possibility that the exhibition of works of art in different states can be disadvantageous for the tourism in Italy. Something that this country needs, and  by way of example I can say that if I had the chance to see “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo, here in my country, I would certainly have  one “less reason” for visiting the Louvre… uh?!



Published May 12, 2013 by Tony


Italy is the country of emergencies!
Living a situation of perpetual emergency, including media with a monothematic information, this has created irreparable damage to our democracy.
From long, we are not having a stable government, political parties that fight each other like gladiators in the arena just to gain power, laws and decrees designed to favor castes, politicians easily corruptible and fixers and crime present wherever there is movement of capital or a business, while the real needs of the country are constantly disregarded and postponed.
In the face of significant economic, structural and political issues, it is normal that some civil rights and social issues pass in second order, if not even appearing useless. As like as thinking about this country such a great and inimitable place on the planet that, because of its history, that focuses the major artistic and natural beauty of the world, and that
even could revive the economic fortunes of the country.
A unique and small country geographically, administratively divided into regions, but that appears to be politically and socially as a huddle of small separated lands, where everyone competes and speaks ill of the other. For this reason, there is no national unity, a forward-looking view of understandings or a national patriotic love.


Herculaneum Conservation Project

Published May 11, 2013 by Tony

– Herculaneum rescued by an American –


Thanks to an American patron, the ruins of Herculaneum in Naples are safe.

More than 41,000 hectares of ruins buried by Vesuvius attract about 31,000 tourists a year, an alternative to the nearby ruins of Pompeii which in recent times have not gotten the same attention, despite collapse and water infiltration, because of the inactivity of the institutions
Until a few years ago, the ancient ruins of Herculaneum were in poor condition, despite the fact that unlike almost all other archaeological sites, they show architectural features and original furnishings as well David Woodley Packardas the magma covered them in 79 AD.

In 2000, David W. Packard, the heir of the same name IT empire in Palo Alto, he confided to his friend Andrew Wallace Hadrill, former director of the British School at Rome, his interest in financing the preservation of the old Herculaneum. Through his foundation, “The Packard Humanities Institute,” his passion for Greek and Latin literature goes back, deciding to focus on archeology. Therefore, Hadrill accompanies him in Herculaneum site, where the superintendent of the Archaeological Heritage of Naples showed him  a plan of some urgent attention. Mr. Packard realized that the site needed a comprehensive conservation plan and for this was born the “Herculaneum Conservation Project,” in cooperation with the Packard Humanities Institute, the Superintendent and with theAndrew Wallace Hadrill support of the British School.
The foundation provided EUR 16 million, and work began. To date, 80% of the ancient Herculaneum’s buildings has been equipped with covers, the entire estate was put on safety, rainwater has been channeled, the Roman sewer system has been restored, the frescoes and mosaics have been protected, with a dozen of restored houses ready to be visited.
At the entrance of the site, a sign says, “What we are doing,” pointing out the work carried out, but this sign with no logo, is the only place where Packard and his sustained effort are mentioned. The City of honorary citizenshipHerculaneum conferred honorary citizenship to David Woodley because of his philanthropic foundation and interest in Herculaneum.

David does not intend to abandon Herculaneum where five building sites are still open, dealing with restoration and maintenance, and where new techniques are experimented. Every 15 days  David receives in California a technical report on the activities carried out and once a year he comes here, to see by himself, that everything continues according to plan.

Villa dei papiri

The last time, when he came a month ago, Packard  confided his wish to make more accessible “Villa of the Papyri.” It is the home of Julius Caesar’s father  in which was found a library with 2,000 carbonized papyrus and nearly hundred sculptures, and that the oil magnate Paul Getty fell in love to the point of build it, as it was, on the hills of Santa Monica, in 1968, where today stands the Getty Museum.

Not the same fate has befallen the twin city of Pompeii, when during the last Berlusconi government were allocated 80 million of public funds for the recovery, and they has been wasted without achieving any useful objective.



The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Published May 3, 2013 by Tony

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant has been prepared based on the votes of the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, a group of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and gourmets long course. The Academy is made up of representatives of 26 macro regions of the world, each of which is composed by a jury of 36 members.
The brothers Joan, Joseph and Jordi Roca, who run El Celler de Can Roca (Girona in Spain), have stood on the top step of the podium in the ranking The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In the hit are 29 European restaurants, including five Spaniards and six positions occupied by the French, even though most of them lose altitude.
Italians retain a strong presence with four restaurants in the standings, in particular up to third place the chef Massimo Bottura with its Franciscan Osteria di Modena, picked up as the best. Its cuisine embraces centuries of Italian tradition in a modern way, and on the podium gaining two positions compared to 2012.
The other Italian restaurants, reported in the rankings, The calenders are brothers Alajmo, in twenty-seventh position, and Combal.Zero of David Scabin to 40th place. He made his debut among the top 50 restaurants in Piazza Duomo in Alba with chef Enrico Crippa, 41st. Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore restaurant of Canneto, won the award for Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef.

1. El Celler de Can Roca – Girona, Spagna – Chef: Joan, Joseph e Jordi Roca
2. Noma – Copenhagen, Danimarca – Chef: René Redzepi
3. Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italia – Chef: Massimo Bottura
4. Mugaritz – San Sebastián, Spagna – Chef: Andoni Luis Aduriz
5. Eleven Madison Park – New York, USA – Chef: Daniel Humm
6. D.O.M. – San Paolo, Brasile – Chef: Alex Atala
7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – Londra, UK – Chef: Ashley Palmer-Watts
8. Arzak – San Sebastián, Spagna – Chef: Juan Mari Arzak ed  Elena Arzak Espina
9. Steirereck – Vienna, Austria – Chef: Heinz Reitbauer
10. Vendôme – Bergisch Gladbach, Germania – Chef: Joachim Wissler

Here’s for the complete ranking: