location: Maredolce-La Favara, Palermo
XXVI edition, 2015 Maredolce-La Favara, Palermo
Every year, a campaign of study and care called “Premio Internazionale Carlo Scarpa per il Giardino“, aims to study and research landscapes with particularly rich value in nature, memory invention. This occasion showcases the intellectual and manual work required to manage the evolving landscape, to safeguard and promote the authentic heritage and memory of nature, beyond the boundaries of the community of specialists.
The Award is presented by Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, based in Bomben and Caotorta palaces in Treviso. Established in the eighties by the Benetton family, chaired by Luciano Benetton and managed by Marco Tamaro, it relies on the support of a stable scientific committee composed of internationally famed scholars and experts. Its focus centres on the study and research of the vast world of landscape and the heritage and civilisation of leisure.
The Award usually takes place in May, with a public ceremony during which a symbolic recognition, the “seal” designed by the ‘inventor of gardens’ Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978), is presented to the winner.
In 2015 (XXVI) the cultural campaign is dedicated to Maredolce-La Favara, where Arab and Normans civilizations used to meet, in the heart of the Mediterranean landscape.
Maredolce-La Favara is situated in the centre of the Brancaccio neighborhood in Palermo, historically named "Conca d'Oro" and it is the tangible evidence of past landscapes in the Arab and Norman civilizations in Sicily.
Nowadays, the area is a vast depression in the landscape, which used to be a large pool with a still recognisable irregular shaped island in its centre.
A building is located on the edge of this cavity that is today bordered on both sides by strips of modern buildings. Within which, in addition to the Norman palace, the area of about twenty-five acres, includes a complex system of artifacts, hydraulic devices, idle land and citrus groves.
Premio Carlo Scarpa’s research focused on possible links between the neighborhood’s life and a forward-looking vision of a city that recognises the signs of a reconciliation through the contradictions of the urban development and the living presence of its historic landscapes.
Maredolce waits to be recognised in a wider context, in order to express all its power and to find the link between what has been saved, what has yet to re-emerge, and the vibrant community life that surrounds it. Among all those now engaged with Maredolce-La Favara, Superintendence for Cultural and Environmental Heritage of Palermo’s working group is the key one to stand out, under the leadership of Maria Elena Volpes. The Fondazione Benetton Scientific Committee liaise directly with her as they continue to offer their full commitment and support.
The seal of Carlo Scarpa is entrusted to Lina Bellanca, the coordinator of this group. It is seen as an expression of support for those who value with their work, the importance of a communal good which requires protecting. The seal recognises the fact that they operate in a challenging urban and social context. The campaign began in Milan with a public press conference on the 25th of March 2015. It continued in the Benetton Foundation headquarters and at the Municipality Theatre in Treviso with a press conference on the 7th of May. Afterwhich they inaugurated and presented an exhibition, a public seminar, the Maredolce-LaFavara documentary as well as the publication of a dossier and the Carlo Scarpa’s seal ceremony.
The campaign will continue with other initiatives during the year in Treviso, in Paris (September), Granada (October) and Palermo (November).