The sixth edition of “ Velimna, the Etruscans and the River”, the event organized at Ponte San Giovanni near Perugia by the Association “Pro Ponte Etrusca Onlus”, has been presented at Palazzo dei Priori. The theme for 2007 is “The Etruscans: Wagons and Weapons”.
The events will take place in the densely-populated hamlet of Ponte San Giovanni, from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th September 2007, and they include a series of initiatives, commemorations, exhibitions, debates and guided visits aimed at enabling people to learn more about this ancient population by focussing on the so-called “art of war” in which they seemed to be particularly active.
The initiative was presented by Fausto Cardinali and Antonello Palmerini, respectively chairmen of the associations “PropPonte” and “Pro Ponte Etrusca Onlus”, in the presence of the Councillors of Culture of the Umbria Region, Silvano Rometti, and of the Province of Perugia, Pierluigi Neri. Instead, who was absent, and unjustifiably so, was the City of Perugia, a reason for concern and astonishment for the organizers who emphasized the need for all the public bodies and private entities to cooperate and contribute to supporting this event which is extremely demanding both in economic and organizational terms.
At the meeting, the list of events were thoroughly illustrated as well as the reasons that have led to choosing this year’s theme: “The Etruscans: Wagons and Weapons”.
The Regional Councillor for Culture, Rometti, pointed out that “Velina is an event which is attracting more and more people, even from other Regions, and this year it coincided with major archaeological finds and celebrations being held across the Region, which provide evidence of the attention that scholars, institutions but also lay people are paying to the issues that are linked to the rediscovery of our past and of our traditions”. And he continued by saying: “The “Pro Ponte” association has the credit of conceived this idea and of providing the necessary scientific and historic support to the facts that are being represented, thus enhancing their significance. This is why it is necessary to broaden the scope of interest to include the history of this town”.
These words were echoed by Neri, the Provincial Councillor for Culture: “Historic memory is fundamental to any community, and it is to be kept alive by events of this type, events that enhance the collective identity. Unfortunately we know little about the Etruscan civilization and therefore I hope that more public and private resources will be invested so that we will not restrict ourselves to merely commemorating the past, albeit consistently with form and content. It is also important to make sure that the rules on ancient finds be respected, since all too often there are items that are preserved in places other than the natural place where they should be kept. I am referring to the “Monteleone Chariot”, currently “held” at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. I have noticed that this issue is up for discussion also at this edition of the Velimna celebrations. Our hope is that the right solution be found”.
The main appointments have all been confirmed: as usual, the opening event is the parade in period costumes (Thursday, 21:00 hours, and will be repeated on Sunday at 18:00 hours), an authentic show with 250 walk-ons and more than 10 floats; the climax of the parade will be a performance on this year’s theme. Then there will be two conferences, one at the Necropolis of the Palazzone entitled “Etrsucan Perugia: its monuments”, with Dr. Luana Cenciaili, director of the archaeological area of Ponteggio (Friday, 17:00 hours) and the other on the theme “The Tomb of Francois of Vulci: wars and alliances between Etruria and Rome”, with Prof. Frncesco Roncalli, Professor of Etruscology and Italic Antiquities at the “Federico II” University of Naples (Saturday, 17:00 hours, in Hall Bruschi at the Decò Hotel). And on Friday, at 21:00 hours, at the Bellini amphitheatre, nobody should miss the play “The Warrior, the Rogue and the Golden Wagon”, staged by the “Teatro del Colle” theatrical company, and directed by Walter Toppetti; the guided visits of Vulci (on Saturday and Sunday morning, departure at 7:30 hours from Ponte San Giovanni); the exhibitions set up at Cva and “Antiquarium” of the Palazzone; and finally the usual Etruscan Dinner on Ponte Vecchio (Sunday, 20:30 hours).