Madonna di Pietranico
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
June 8, 2012
Earthquake Relief for Northern Italy
ITALIAN AMERICAN MUSEUM INITIATES FUNDRAISING EFFORTS FOR PAIR OF DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKES IN ITALY
The Italian American Museum announced today that it will begin immediately accepting monetary donations to assist the relief effort for the dual earthquakes that struck Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region on May 20 and 29. While not as devastating as the 6.3 2009 quake that occurred in the Abruzzi region that killed more than 300 people, the most recent earthquakes caused 26 fatalities, numerous injuries, massive damage to historically significant art and architecture, and left thousands without a home.
The first quake’s epicenter was situated about 22 miles north of the regional capital of Bologna, and was reportedly the worst tremor to hit the area since the 1300’s. The second’s epicenter was in the province of Modena, about 22 miles to the northwest of Bologna.
Working with its representative in Italy, Umberto Mucci, the Museum has formally requested that any funds it raises be earmarked for repair or reconstruction of a specific historic work of art or architecture in the devastated zones. The determination is expected to be made by the Minister of Culture.
In 2009, the Museum raised $110,000 which funded the restoration of the iconic sculpture of the Madonna di Pietranico, which was heavily damaged in the Abruzzo quake. As a gesture of gratitude, the local community and the Italian government arranged for the restored statue to be sent to America, where it was displayed at the Italian American Museum for one month.
“Given the success of our fundraising for Abruzzo, we decided to initiate a similar effort for the residents of Emilia-Romagna,” said Italian American Museum president Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa. “We think people are more inclined to donate when they know funds will be dedicated to a specific restoration project.”
For the current effort, the Museum has partnered with the Coalition of Italian American Associations, an umbrella group representing 140 Italian American community organizations. While each will appeal to its members to donate, the Museum will serve as the central receiving point for all donations, including those from the general public.
DONATIONS CAN BE MADE IN ONE OF TWO WAYS:
• By checks made out to "Italian American Museum Earthquake Relief Fund.”
Checks can be dropped off or mailed to the Museum, located at 155 Mulberry St. (corner of Grand St.), New York, NY 10013.
The Italian American Museum is open Monday through Friday for group tours by appointment, and on Saturdays and Sundays to the general public from 12 noon to 6 pm. For more information, call 212-965-9000 or visit www.italianamericanmuseum.org.
Founded in 2001, the Italian American Museum is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Italy and Italian Americans by presenting the individual and collective struggles and achievements of Italians and their heirs to the American way of life. The Museum received its provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents on June 12, 2001 and is a 501 (c)(3) organization.
155 MULBERRY STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10013
Reprinted from the Italian American Museum press release