S. for the pictorial cycle that adorns the ceiling of a room on the ground floor of the building where once the rectors of the Italo-Albanian College of Sant'Adriano stayed.
These are fourteen paintings by a well-known Albanian artist, Ndoc Martin Camaj (Scutari 1880, Paris 1916).
Made in the 1907 commissioned by the authorities of the historic Institute to embellish a room on the ground floor of the building where, from the 1907, the year of its construction, they began to lodge the first principals of the high school and, years later, the rectors of the College.
The construction of the residence is due to the royal commissioner of Como, Angelo Scalabrini, inspector general of Italian schools abroad, who excelled in an exemplary manner the destinies of the Institute and of the annexed Liceo, strengthening the bonds of sympathy already existing among the Italian-Albanians and the Albanians from overseas.
From the end of the 70 to the 1995, the building, which is part of the College's real estate, was used as a branch before the State Professional Institute for Agriculture of Sibari, then the Professionaledi Rossano. The 1995 was the year of its closure due to the drop in enrollment, which led the school authorities to suppress the headquarters of San Demetrio Corone.
Closed, no longer used for years and deprived of the most ordinary maintenance interventions, for the former residence of the rector since then the inevitable structural deterioration began. Today the building is dilapidated and neglect reigns supreme. To aggravate the state of unavailability contributes the infiltration of rainwater through a large opening caused by the collapse of the roof, which easily reaches the rooms of the first floor and from here also the room of the paintings, thus attacking the figures made by the Albanian artist. The paintings, except for two already affected by humidity, are still in a fairly good condition overall. The subjects represented are: the self-portrait of Camaj (in the photo), two landscapes (Mount Pollino and the pyramids of Egypt), five portraits (Galilei, Dante, Raphael, Verdi and Michelangelo) and six panoramas of some cities ( including Scutari, Rome, Naples and Venice).
The first to report the presence of the paintings and to request the intervention of the authorities responsible for the protection of cultural heritage was Professor Franco Altimari, holder of the chair of Albanian language and literature at Unical, in the far 1980 from the pages of the Italian-Italian culture magazine Albanian "Zjarri" (the fire), of which the university professor from Rimini has since been a collaborator.
Nothing, however, has been done to prevent the building from being torn away from degradation and neglect, and to prevent moisture from beginning to attack and deteriorate the paintings. ——————————————– Of the painter Ndoc Martin Camaj, it is known that he was born in Scutari in the 1880. A pupil of the other famous Albanian painter Kolë Idromeno, who started him on the road of art. From the 1904 to the 1907 he was a fellow and attended the Normal School in the Italian-Albanian College of S.
Demetrio C., then transformed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs into an Italian school abroad. The frescos we are dealing with date back to the 1907. In that same year he went to Paris, where for two years he attended courses at the School of Fine Arts with a scholarship. As he lost his scholarship, he had to interrupt his studies, but he continued to work at the Pensi painter. In the 1913 he became ill with tuberculosis and ended his life poor and alone in a sanatorium of Paris in the 1916.
PUBLISHED ON 'IL QUOTIDIANO DELLA CALABRIA' THE 3.5.2008
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