Citta' di Castello toasts culture with literary award
'Opportunity to admire the works of great artists'30 October, 16:23
"Literary awards like this in Città di Castello, in a country that has lost the value of culture as the foundation of the national community, remind everyone that in order to proceed on the path of growth and development you must start from moral and cultural revitalization," said Umbrian Regional Culture Councillor Fabrizio Bracco at the seventh edition of the international literary award ceremony.
Bracco noted that the Umbria Region has supported the prize from its beginnings and expressed appreciation for the "meritorious work of the organizers, who stubbornly defend and develop an award that is a recognition of a passion, but also of the importance of intellectual work".
"A country that does not recognize and value the work of writers, poets, scientists, musicians, actors, scholars, artists, and the effort and dedication at the foundation of their activities, is a country that has no future," Bracco added.
"I hope that after knowing a great past built on literature, poetry, the arts and study, Italy will move towards a great future, once again recognizing the value and the importance of culture".
The Citta' di Castello literary prize this year garnered the high patronage of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
The prize organised by the Tracciati Virtuali (Virtual Paths) cultural association and last year launched a special category "1970-2020: Toward the 50th anniversary of the Umbria Region" in collaboration with the Institute for the Contemporary History of Umbria (ISUC) and Institute for the Culture and Business History Franco Momigliano (ICSIM).
The special section has the goal of promoting academic study and research in the subject area to "anchor the award even more to regional realities" underlined Alberto Stramaccioni, a lecturer at the Universita' per Stranieri di Perugia (University for Foreigners in Perugia), the author of numerous historical-political studies, and a member of the prize jury.
The special section also "deepens study of a region that has a less well-defined identity compared to others," added Stramaccioni.
The first prize was given to Valerio Marinelli, author of a compendium of documents and materials on Umbria and Italian unification in the 1990s that will now be published in the Historic Studies series of the prize.
As of this year, moreover, a new category will be launched for "Worlds and Cultures on the shores of the Mediterranean" with the goal of promoting the knowledge, cooperation and interaction between Italian culture and the Arab cultures on the southern shores of the Mediterranean.
"The Citta di Castello literary prize Citta di Castello is the only initiative of its kind in Italy, especially after the cultural ferments that, even with varied political results, are inspiring the Arab spring," said Antonio Vella, President of the Tracciati Virtuali cultural association.
The section's prize was awarded to the Egyptian writer Ibrahim Sonallah, who said he was "proud and honored" by the recognition, which "expresses the special relationship that has always linked the Egyptian and Italian people".
Sonallah also brought attention to the situation that Egypt is facing.
"During my trip (to Citta' di Castello), I had the opportunity to admire the works of your great artists, like Alberto Burri. The force of creativity and innovation, which are threatened in my country, emerges from them," Sonallah said.
The jury for the 2013 prize was composed of president Alessandro Quasimodo, literary critic, director, theatrical actor and son of the Nobel laureate Salvatore Quasimodo; Claudio Pacifico, a recent ambassador to Egypt and ex-ambassador to various capitals in the Arab world; Alberto Stramaccioni, professor of contemporary history at the Universita' per Stranieri di Perugia; writer Valerio Massimo Manfredi; journalist Barbara Palombelli; and Alessandro Masi, art critic and general secretary of the Societa' Dante Alighieri.
There were 311 entries for the Citta' di Castello awards: 129 narrative works, 36 essays, 146 poems.
Authors came from all over Italy and abroad, including France, Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Israel, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
The 10 best works were selected in each of the three categories.
In the narrative category, first prize - which consisted of publication - went to Antonella De Bei, from the city of Chioggia, with the novel "Chiara who ate the Wolf"; the essay category was won by Giorgio Bertolizio, of Brescia; first prize in poetry went to Rodolfo Vettorello, from Milan, with the anthology "I can't stay and I can't go".
During the award ceremony a message from Napolitano was read. The president gave his "best wishes" for the award, which has "with time accredited itself as a point of reference in the panorama of Italian literature" and remarked on its special attention to the culture the Mediterranean.