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Matera 2019, homage to David Sassoli in Cava del Sole

By Press release June 22, 2022
Matera 2019, David Sassoli in the Cava del Sole Matera 2019, David Sassoli in the Cava del Sole Photo by Matera 2019

On 20 December 2019 at the closing ceremony of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, the Cava del Sole was thronged with citizens waving European flags and the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, who passed away prematurely on 11 January, delivered an impassioned and warmly applauded speech on the value of culture for the building of Europe.

The Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation wishes to take up the important legacy he left and has organized an event in Matera entitled 'Omaggio a David Sassoli' (Homage to David Sassoli), under the high patronage of the European Parliament. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Sunday 26  June at the Cava del Sole, a symbolic place that the City of Matera recently  chose to name after Sassoli because of his deep commitment to the city.

The event, which will be attended by Sassoli's wife Alessandra Vittorini and their children, will be opened by contributions from representatives of local, national and European institutions and people who knew and admired him to share and discuss the values which Mr Sassoli cherished. The speakers will include Pina Picierno, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Giampaolo D'Andrea, advisor to the Minister of Culture, Gianni Pittella, Senator, advisor to the Minister of Defence for European Policies and former President of the European Parliament, Monica Maggioni, director of Tg1, and Marco Tarquinio, director of Avvenire.

A call for young creatives from Europe and the Mediterranean area will then be presented. In the European Year of Youth 2022, the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation invites young people to conceive a co-creation project with Lucanian communities and creatives  during a residency in Basilicata. A new idea of Europe, inspired by the principles and values dear to Sassoli, where the Mediterranean area has a key place in shaping its future. By drawing on creativity and co-creation, Matera 2019 seeks to continue sending messages to Europe from the remote areas of the South, thereby promoting universal values and building bridges.

A concert by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, conducted by maestro John Axelrod, will be the closing event of the evening. Following the concert held during the Matera 2019 programme, the Orchestra has chosen to return to the city of the Sassi as part of their “Sud Italia 2022” Tour sponsored by the Ministry of Culture’s General Directorate for Entertainment. The concert will be broadcast live on Rai Radio 3 and on the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) circuit. Moreover, the Open Culture 2019 Volunteers Association, which is one of the most valuable legacies of the European Capital of Culture project, will certainly make its contribution during this important occasion.

In order to take part in the 'Omaggio a David Sassoli' event, booking is required on Eventbrite.it. A shuttle service to the Cava del Sole will be running from Piazza Matteotti from 6.30 p.m. Detailed information on transport and access  is available on the booking form  by clicking on the following link.

Through this initiative - as the director of the Matera Basilicata 2019 Foundation Giovanni Oliva points out - we intend to honour the  great person President Sassoli was. His testimony gave prestige to the Matera 2019 European Capital of Culture road map, a city that is  home to  "the most authentic values of Europe", as he underlined in his memorable speech at the Cava del Sole. We want those same values in which he strongly believed and which were at the heart of his work – initially as a journalist  and later as a member of  European institutions – to foster actions and ideas capable of building courageous proposals for the future".

Free ticket here.

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