After Day One

 

Christina met me at the entrance with a full on smile. There was a lot of commotion because ex-Mayor Ignazio Marino was finishing up the presentation of his new book called: “Un marziano a Roma” (A Martian in Rome) in the main pres room and there was a lot of hustle and bustle over his harsh words against his political party and Renzi –its leader. He made hard accusations about having been abandoned throughout the Rome ‘you’ve abused your power as Mayor because you let the city pay for your private expenses’ scandal that eventually led to his stepping down as Mayor of Rome at the beginning of October 2015. Jokingly, he added that he still hadn’t paid his Democratic Party dues for the 2016 year.

Ferment continued for hours after we settled down with our laptops in the nearby library and got down to work: a long line of journalists was hanging out waiting for a turn to interview Marino. It seems he was giving reporters the chance to ask questions in small groups for newspapers and network news programs (maybe that’s standard procedure?).

On our agenda today, Christina shared an article she wrote about female street artist Alice Pasquini. As the article was written in German, she pumped it through Google translate and asked me to just use it as a base to write the article well in English. In the past, Christina had published some articles for Chief Editor John Philip’s English language online newspaper the Italian Insider and she thought is a good little project for us to work on and publish as co-authors. I’m excited about seeing my name in print!

While I was writing/translating/proofreading, Christina got a call from her friend Maria Rita who is currently responsible for having brought the new show called “Caravaggio Experience” to Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome – March 24th to July 3rd. The Director of the Urbino Museum was in town for business at Civita and before he left Rome that afternoon, he was going to meet with Maria Teresa and have a look at the new show. As the Director was from Vienna, Christina jumped at the offer to meet up with him too as she had just once done a long distance interview with him and was thrilled at the idea of meeting him face-to face. So, we hailed a taxi and off we went to Via Nazionale. In the taxi, Christina told me that Director Peter Aufreiter had been chosen last year as one of the new Italian museum Directors nominated by Minister of Italian Culture Dario Franceschini along with 19 others including French Director Sylvian Bellenger of Capodimonte Museum in Naples.

While we were waiting for the other at the VIP desk, Christina gave me a book as a present. How kind of her. I was really touched that she was so generous without really knowing me. The book is called: “My Home Sweet Rome” by Sari Gilbert. I sure will read it! She said she thought it was appropriate for me and that now, as a journalist intern, would be the perfect time to appreciate it. I took off the flower decoration and shall place it jealously in my trusty Moleskine notebook as soon as I catch my return train this evening.

Needless to say, the exposition was divine! I love Caravaggio and loved the way he was exposed in such a gargantuan way on the walls. That delightful background music and the smell of “Maledetto” (cursed) perfume all around us in the air just completed the overwhelmingly pleasant experience. We were lucky there were few people in the museum, apparently over 5,ooo visitors had come over Easter weekend, making the first few days of “Caravaggio Experience” a great success! See my video on YouTube.

Clearly, Maria Teresa’s meeting was aimed at convincing the art director to bring the exposition to Urbino. Although some important Art Connoisseur had told him it was more appropriate to host a show about Raffaello, he seemed enthralled about the idea of being the next location for this unique installation.

What a great first day. My next appointment with Christina is Friday. An interview in the Flaminio neighborhood is on our agenda. I have yet to find out with who, at what time and where I have to meet her. Who cares! It’s all a great adventure and I’m loving it already.

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