23-7-2012 The Livorno delle Nazioni cultural association has only existed formally since late September 2011, but the small group of dedicated members has already made some important progress.
The aim of the association is to promote, enhance and restore all those historical sites of Livorno linked to the foreign nations that played such a fundamental role in the growth of the city from the end of the 16th century. These “nations” (or nazioni) were represented by members of the English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, French, German, Swiss, Greek, Armenian, Jewish and Turkish communities that settled in Livorno to work. Many of them left tangible evidence of their presence in the form of cemeteries, churches, and noteworthy buildings and villas, and many of these sites need urgent attention.
As reported in an earlier article, the group’s main focus to begin with is the Old English Cemetery in Via Verdi, and the Dutch Church on the Scali Olandesi. On both fronts some remarkable progress has been made in the few months since the Livorno delle Nazioni association was founded.
On 13th July the association proudly announced the beginning of a combined project with the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Pisa which aims to study and report on the state of the natural environment of the Old English Cemetery. This will include a census of the plants and trees present in the cemetery, an in-depth analysis of the condition of this vegetation, and a final plan of action regarding the future management of the site (for more detailed information about the project and those involved, click here). The project has been approved by both the British Consulate of Milan, and the Confraternità della Misericordia di Livorno (responsible for the upkeep of the cemetery), and has already been launched in practical terms, with an initial overview of the cemetery by the university team on 12th July. The next step will take place on 25th July when the university professors will be bringing in specific instruments to analyze the trees and plants and to identify any potential weaknesses and danger, particularly regarding the older trees.
As for the Dutch Church, the Livorno delle Nazioni association was recently invited to become part of the committee set up by The Lions Club Livorno Host to lead the way towards restoring the church. Furthermore, the vice-president of the association Stefano Ceccarini (who started the Facebook page to increase awareness about the church), will be on the Board of Directors of this committee.
The association is also currently heavily involved in collecting signatures for Livorno's Dutch church to try and get it voted as the most popular “Luogo del Cuore” (Place I Love) in Italy, a campaign promoted annually by the Italian private non-profit foundation, Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI). The place that receives the most votes will be eligible for funding for its restoration. If you would like to support this excellent cause, please see the link below.