Fondazione Il Vittoriale degli Italiani
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History Act of Donation of The Vittoriale to the Italian People

Act of Donation of The Vittoriale to the Italian People

22 December 1923

“Not only have I furnished every house, not only have I studiously arranged every room, but every object I have chosen and collected at different ages in my lifetime, has always been a means of personal expression, it has always been a means of spiritual revelation, like any one of my poems, like any one of my dramas, like any of my political or military deeds, like any of my testimonies of direct and  invincible faith.
Therefore I venture to offer the Italian people everything which remains and everything which from today I may both  purchase and amass with my renewed work, not a rich heritage of inert wealth but the naked heritage of immortal spirit.
A former vain celebrator of distinguished buildings and  sumptuous villas, I have come to enclose my sadness and my silence in this old farmhouse, not so much to humiliate myself as to put my powers of creation and of transformation to a more difficult test.
Everything here has in fact been created and transfigured by me myself.
Everything here shows the mark of my style in the sense that I wish to give to style.
My love for Italy, my cult of memory, my aspiration to heroism, my foreboding for the future of the Nation are shown here in my search for lines, in every harmony or discord of colours.
Do the relics of our war not bleed again here? And do the surviving stones of glorious cities not speak or sing here?
Every jagged wreck is mounted here like a rare gem.
The great tragic prow of the “Puglia” is placed here in honour and in light on the hill, as in the oratory the bloody shred of our heroic comrade who was killed.
And here are my books, not gathering dust but living, in such great number and of such value, that they maybe outnumber those of any other library of a solitary scholar.
All of this is therefore a form of my mind, an aspect of my soul, a proof of my fervour.
As death will give my body to my beloved Italy, so may it be conceded that I preserve the best of my life in this offering to  my beloved Italy”.

 

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