Pisan Delegates Feted in Yonkers

Consul General of Italy in New York Natalia Quintavalle(center) with (left to right), Dott. Ricardo Viale, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; H.E. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Vatican at the U.N.; Ing. Paolo Ghezzi, Vice Mayor, City of Pisa; Fabrizio Michelassi, M.D. Chief of Surgery Cornell Weill and a native Pisan; Steve Acunto, Hon. Vice Consul and host of the event, and Prof. Giovanni Padroni, Director of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, the enterprise that oversees the Duomo and leaning Tower of Pisa.

In the famous Broadway show Gigi, Lerner and Loewe included a comic dialogue between two bored Parisians discussing the joys and wonders of the world, including the leaning Tower of Pisa. The optimist declared: “The leaning tower I adore, “ to which the pessimist replied: “Indecision is a bore”.

There is no indecision, however, in the determination of a delegation from Pisa to bring to light –and to New York–all that is happening in their home town, from the Leaning Tower and the Duomo to the Piazza dei Miracoli and academic institutions in the city.

On Monday night, April 9th, during a reception at the home of Hon. Vice Consul Stefano and Carole Acunto in Yonkers, New York, Hon. Paolo Ghezzi, Vice Mayor of Pisa, and Professor Giovanni Padroni, chairman of the organization responsible for the Tower and the Duomo met leaders of the Italian and Italian/American community, and other cultural leaders in the New York community, during a reception focused upon the initiatives in Pisa. The delegation will make presentations at the Columbus Citizens Foundation on Wednesday evening April 11th and elsewhere in the city this week.

Dott. Giovanni Padroni who is a professor at the University of Pisa (founded in 1343 )and board member of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, oversees events and restorations of the Tower. This group has the legal status of a not-for-profit which addresses “the protection, promotion and enhancement of its artistic heritage”. Since 1987 the monuments in Pisa have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Prof. Padroni discussed the “miracles” of Pisa, the recent resue restorations and the Cathedral itself which include frescoes of Camposanto Monumentale and sculptures from the Medieval period.

Ing. Paolo Ghezzi addressed the group which included H.E. Archbishop Francis Chullikat, Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the UN; Consul General Natalia Quintavalle; Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Riccardo Viale and thirty guests, who were entertained  by soprano Krista Adams and by pianist Gabriele Carcano of Torino.

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