Sunday between sacred and profane

twelve o’clock, May 4, 2021 – 09:13 am

of Ernesto Mazzetti

Un Sunday divided between the sacred and the profane. There was the miracle of San Gennaro. Manc in December, and there was a dark omen of the ruthlessness of Covid. He delayed the May anniversary by one day. But then on Sunday the event, with the display of the ampoule made by the abbot of the Chapel, Monsignor Vincenzo De Gregorio. To me, a layman, it comes to think, and to complain, of the contrast between the religious sentiments of many respectable Neapolitans and the spread of so much blasphemous corruption of symbols of faith: altars erected in memory of criminals victims of their own violence, sacred statues stolen from families underworld. There are those who have thrown the miracle into politics. Bassolino observes how now, after San Gennaro has done his part, it is up to the institutions and to every citizen the duty to revive Naples. And de Magistris, outgoing mayor, who hopes for greater brotherhood among citizens from the miracle. If that’s enough, after the bad decade it leaves us in inheritance. Showy signs remain inadequate services, municipal budget close to collapse, devastation of buildings, roads, parks. On the other hand (for those who are satisfied with it) the encouraged proliferation of small bars, in the old town, seafront, hills. Naples, which has always been the capital of pizza, is added the title of capital of spritz! As soon as the obsessive red zone with the closure of every public bar is removed, here is the return of tumultuous crowds in the streets with the advent of the yellow zone and the spring air.

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Undeniable desire for free movement, for renewed sociality. Unfortunately bordering on madness which in vain the police are trying to impose a method. A sort of sedition of the beer in the evenings and nights of this long weekend, which breaks the boundaries of places and time limits. Chronicles of clashes, fines, forced closures of premises. And fears of renewed infections.

Regurgitation of the profane; but even more annihilation of history, of a vestige of urban identity. Here too, contradictory events. The admirable rationalist building that Canino and Cosenza assigned in the Villa Comunale to the Circolo della Stampa re-emerges to its original dignity: from the deterioration of the Municipality it will be ennobled in cultural functions by the Dorhn Station. And with Mibact funds, hope for the recovery of the immense factory of Ferdinando Fuga, enlightened and never built Hotel for the poor of the Bourbon kingdom: perhaps the new seat of the National Library, of archaeological surpluses. But the Monte di Pietà? What is the fate? Antonio Duva, a friend since high school Sannazzaro, eminent journalist and parliamentarian, asks me this from Milan, always attentive to the fate of his hometown. Gi, what fate awaits the building that Cavagna built for the noble institution that helped the needy? And that it later belonged to the Banco di Napoli and that, like other assets of the major southern credit institution, absorbed or, more properly, badly expropriated in favor of other banks. The latest, Intesa San Paolo, which let it lapse and now sells it. Singular story. Intesa, the largest Italian bank, boasts cultural and social merits and enjoys large profits. Yet he does not hesitate to get rid of a palace that is not only ancient, among the many that includes Naples, but a precious piece of the city’s history. The Amoroso gentlemen, entrepreneurs in the lucrative sector of temporary work, want to buy it, to transform it into a hotel, bar, shops, to be added to the caravanserai that has become Spaccanapoli. But it is striking that everything happens with public money: there is Invitalia, an organization of the Mise, which – they say – provides non-repayable capital and subsidized loans for restoration. Gi, Invitalia, of which the president is Dr. Arcuri, known but not appreciated commissioner at Covid as a buyer of masks and wheeled benches. Public money to transform a historical asset into private, where they would instead aspire to place their own endowments for public use State Archives, Banco Napoli Foundation, Universit. Does the Municipality make itself heard? No, it seems that de Magistris applauds the addition of other small bars to the city panorama. Does the Region make itself felt? No, President De Luca is too busy amidst controversies with the government, with his party and on appointments in Neapolitan museums. And the superintendent of Mibact La Rocca? He will have to have his say to Minister Franceschini when he answers the parliamentary questions already put forward on the singular fate of Monte di Pietà. But will there be answers?

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May 4, 2021 | 09:13


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