TidBits 054: A bit of culture to be preserved!

Who would have ever thought to find the famous Treccani Encyclopedia - a historic pillar of Italian culture - canned under oil like tuna, olives or artichokes?

Well, Benedetto Marcucci,professional artist and journalist, placed 55 volumes of the Encyclopedia in glass canisterssealed with wax.

A nostalgic feeling of devotion to the culture of the Italy of some years ago spurred theartist to preserve the Treccani in an alternative and unique way. The heavy weight of thevolumes is today in contrast with the evanescence of the quickly available culture just aclick of Wikipedia away - something that, however, very often does not yield the reliability conferred by the verifications made by a committee of experts and contained in the encyclopedia.

The installation, housed in Rome since December 15th, 2010 which will then be transferredto the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, is a prime example of mastery and artisanship:500 kilos of mouth blown crystal for the canisters, a ton of chestnut wood to build themulti-shelved structure, corks and, of course, oil. Not extra-virgin olive oil but simply seedoil - the best for preserving culture!

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