Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
TURIN

Iconic Turin landmark opens secret pathways

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle) Turin, May 14 - Most monuments in
Italy hold some sort of superstitious sway over the city's
inhabitants where they are found.
Or at least a tad bit of mystery.
Students in the Tuscan city of Pisa run around its Leaning
Tower endlessly to guarantee good grades on exams.
Instead, in the Piedmont city of Turin, a ride to the top
of the landmark Mole Antonelliana and its towering ramparts is
shunned by students, whose peers advise them to avoid a climb on
the accessible panoramic terrace before university exams.
However, that ban has never included the rest of the
building for the simple reason that for some 100 years, most of
the structure's inner secrets have been closed to the public.
With the exception of employees of the Museum of Cinema
located inside since 2000, and the occasional lucky worker, the
inner workings of architect Alessandro Antonelli's Mole remain
an unvisited mystery.
For the 150th anniversary of the Turin architectural
triumph, exceptions are being made with a tour that will guide
the curious from the base of the Mole up 85 meters all the way
to the observation deck.
Originally designed as a synagogue, the building that has
become a symbol of the city is encouraging visitors to discover
the secret corners of the 1863 structure with its four-faced
dome all by foot.
"I'm happy that finally we can discover virtually unknown
aspects of the monument. This new route is a truly fascinating,
unveiling beautiful and unexpected corners of the Mole Antonelli
in its entirety," Ugo Nespolo, President of the National Museum
of Cinema, said.
Instead of the 58-second ride in the famous glass elevator,
visitors will be guided up, then down, the inner staircases,
giving them a chance to linger on details that few have been
privy to.
The stone staircases leading up to the lofty dome stop at
numerous windows - some circular and others narrow - that let
light beams pierce the shadows, illuminating the passage and
highlighting architectural details that are both curious and
surprising.
Considered an engineering wonder for its bold construction,
the inside of the 19th-century building is as jaw-droppingly
impressive as its tall profile silhouetted against the sky
outside.
Archictect Antonelli worked on the Mole until his death
and the creative genius became legendary for micro-managing
every detail by using a pulley-operated elevator to check the
job progress.
However, Antonelli died before its completion and
inauguration in 1889, one year after his death.
It was completed by his son, Constantius, with the support
of a pupil of his father Crescentino Caselli.
Inside, the craftsmanship was under the direction of
architect Annibale Rigotti, who decorated the interior between
1905 and 1908.
After a look at the fascinating infrastructure, visitors
can also visit the richly stocked National Cinema Museum,
revamped for the 20th Winter Olympics in 2006.
An entire floor is devoted to 'cinema archaeology' and
enables visitors to discover the history of the art form.
Another is dedicated to movie screenings.
There is a 'movie factory' on the fourth floor, which takes
enthusiasts though the process of making a flick, and a display
of film posters fills the top tier.
The museum also has an exceptional archive that includes
over 7,000 films, with many rare silent movies; around
300,000 film posters and playbills; magic lanterns and slides
from the early days of filmmaking; props and film equipment;
71,000 photographs, as well as a fine library.

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