May 13th 1944-2024. 80°anniversary of the bombing of the Pilotta


On 13th May 1944, following several bombings in Parma and its province during the previous months, Allies bombs reached the town centre once more. This time they hit several buildings and monuments, including the Pilotta building.
The southern and western wings were partly destroyed with considerable damage to the Farnese Theater and the Palatine Library.
The bombing caused, in fact, the partial destruction of the Petitot Gallery. Only thanks to the Benedictine fathers and the friars of the Annunziata, who immediately rushed to try to recover books, documents and manuscripts from the ruins, some volumes were saved but around 15,000 of the 310,000 books belonging to the Petitot Gallery, the Consultation Room and some convent funds were lost.
The damage to the Farnese Theater was so extensive that its complete reconstruction was necessary and was carried out between 1956 and 1960, with the restoration of the architecture and decorative elements according to the original projects and with the repositioning of the few portions of the original facing and wooden fragments spared from the bombs.
The Veleia statues of the Archaeological Museum were saved from the bombings thanks to their preventive burial near the museum, as well as the painting of the National Gallery which were saved thanks to their transfer to the Torrechiara castle.

80 years after that May 13th, convinced of the importance of memory as basis on which to build the present and the future, we offer a small virtual exhibition of photographs showing the damage suffered by the Pilotta complex following the bombings: when possible, we put next to them the photo of what the same part of the building looks like today.

History is not about knowing where you are going, but where you come from

Umberto Eco

Altre foto dei bombardamenti


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