«Let’s regain the proud of belonging and our “know how”»

11 December 2019

FABRIANO, 11 December 2019 - "The application for the enrollment of the Art of Watermarked Paper of Fabriano in the Representative List of Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage will be more likely to succeed if every citizen of Fabriano regains possession of the pride of belonging to a community that built upon its" know-how " its most distinguishing feature from 1200 to today and, we are certain, will continue to do so also in the future». With this hope, the public Assembly organized by the Pia University of Paper Master was terminated, with the support of the Municipality of Fabriano, the Fedrigoni Fabriano Foundation, the Carifac Foundation, to officially present the starting step that will lead to the presentation of the dossier next March in Rome.

Team work and community effort, this is the profound meaning of the initiative held yesterday afternoon in the council chamber of the Palazzo del Podestà in Fabriano witnessing a wide and heartfelt attendance, both during the two assemblies with the students of the town’s high schools, which took place yesterday morning at the Teatro San Giovanni Bosco della Misericordia and in the Great Hall of the Morea, and yesterday afternoon at the Palazzo del Podestà. Many, in fact, the speeches that arose following the post-presentation debate of the application project. The mayor, Gabriele Santarelli, does the honors. «Fabriano is a city in transition in search of an identity that can make it unique and recognizable nationally and internationally. We are fortunate enough to already have a distinctive character linked to the manufacturing of paper that makes us recognizable all over the world, yet in the city, for a long time, paper has spoken little, being sidelined from attention and development projects. The process for the application of watermarked paper as the Intangible Heritage of UNESCO assumes a dual role in this context: to recover the memory of the importance that this production has had for the history of the city and to pass it on to the new generations so that it can become again an opportunity for community growth. This is why it is so important that the process that will lead us to the candidacy is as participatory as possible and it is for the same reason that I consider vital the fact that so many realities are working synergistically to achieve this outcome. A good part of our city has also developed within an urban framework according to paper production. We have it in our DNA and maybe that is why we take it for granted. Awareness is the first goal to achieve".

The task of explaining why it was decided to advance the application of the Watermarked Paper has been given to the Pia University of Paper Masters, to the first Councilor Massimo Stopponi. «The Pia University of Paper Masters, for more than 690 years, has been active in the promotion of Fabriano's paper cultural heritage, heir and direct successor of the ancient medieval paper corporation. Initially born with the sole purpose of social and religious assistance while maintaining intact the initial intentions, over time it has also taken on the task of promoting a "Culture education" of the paper. Today, Pia University strongly rooted in this territory, feels the need to point out to the world the peculiarity of an art, that of the manufacture of Watermarked Paper which in this place had its cradle and over the centuries has found development and evolution. To pursue this goal, with the invaluable support of the Fedrigoni Fabriano Foundation, the Carifac Foundation, the Municipality of Fabriano and the technical consultancy of the Bia Srl company together with the local associations and the involvement of citizens, it was decided to undertake the process for the presentation of the application of the Art of the Watermarked Paper of Fabriano to the registration in the Representative List of Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage ».

One of the pivotal points of the team that is working on this application is represented by the Fedrigoni Fabriano Foundation. «The Fedrigoni Fabriano Foundation, which since 2011, thanks to the founder Fedrigoni SpA, is dedicated to safeguarding Fabriano's historic paper heritage and its dissemination, joins the intentions of the Pia Università dei Cartai, guaranteeing scientific support and sharing of the precious heritage documentary and instrumental of inestimable value at its disposal, tangible and intangible testimony of a "know-how" of the collective identity of a territory ", underlined the coordinator, Livia Faggioni.

«In recent years the Carifac Foundation has given up the mere role of passive provider developing a proactivity that leads it to stand as a hub of relationship and coordination for all who want to work for the Community. We strongly believe that this application (it would be the first time for the Marche region if UNESCO were to accept it) could lay the foundations for a new Renaissance of Fabriano. An action in the cultural sphere with enormous potential that is reflected in the economic one where it is possible to renew the territorial brand by creating attractiveness. A Community project in which the Foundation makes financial support available ", were the words of the president of the Carifac Foundation, Marco Ottaviani.

Specifically, the Bia company will enter the next step. "BIA Srl, a consultancy company in the field of cultural design, supports the Fabriano community in the process of enhancing and promoting the intangible heritage linked to watermarked paper in view of a UNESCO application as an intangible heritage of humanity. It is a complex project, but fascinating from a technical point of view. There are many steps to address such as micro-narratives, cataloging, the making of an emotional film and the collection of consents through letters of support from the subjects of the Fabriano and paper world, bearing witness to the value and significance of the company. These are steps to be taken together to continue this important collective recognition action ", said Angelo Boscarino, president of Bia.

The last two speeches concerned the tools made available to the community for the positive success of the candidacy, namely the website www.piauniversitadeicartai.it and the Focal Point.The dedicated website has been edited by Dedalo srl. Massimo Ilari talked about the importance of digital presence in the network of the Pia Università of Paper Masters. «A new logo was created to give a new image to the association that boasts a record of longevity over a hundred years: officially from 1326, almost 700 years of uninterrupted activity. The website is a mini story of activities related to the world of paper. But at the same time it represent an interactive way to talk to people. A whatsApp number - 328/1030132 - available to collect direct information from the public of all ages. A section of news related to the world of paper. A section of micro narratives that will be implemented by the school/work project that will start in the coming months with secondary school students. This will be done in support of the application that will see Fabriano and its inhabitants at the center of an ambitious yet viable project".

Finally, the Focal Point, managed by the Pro Loco of Fabriano. "Taking part in a project like the UNESCO recognition as an intangible asset of the Watermarked Paper makes us proud and encourages us to be even more "creative ". Being part of a project that has the ambition and strength to be born from below, to involve many and different realities is truly stimulating and even a little unique if we think of the history of our city. With the opening of the Focal Point in Piazza del Comune we will try to give space to the city where each of us can feel involved and, above all, the protagonist of this project that will be able to give life to many future initiatives to be undertaken together", concluded the president of Pro Loco, Paolo Mearelli.

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