Alberto Salza - The affliction (or perhaps the pain) of statues: life, death and miracles of sculptures

Lecture in Italian - Vasari Auditorium – 16th January 2019

Alberto Salza addresses the issue of African ritual statues preserved in non-African museums. Salza wonders if it is right to display those sculptures, which testify the process of colonization and submission of so many people, and appear to have been emptied of their original content and functions. The scholar shows, through a series of practical examples from his several travels, how in many African cultures objects are considered precious not for their historical-material value but for their symbolic-religious value, and that consequently displaying a ritual object out of its original context can cause the death of the object itself, which is thus reduced to a mere fetish.