“Let’s play: how we used to play”

Games and toys from the Gianni Marangoni collection

There are people who can transform collectibles into a paean to memory: this is what has been done by Gianni Marangoni, the curator of the first collateral show of the Spring edition of Mercanteinfiera, who has kept up a direct connection with History by preserving toys and games and putting together a collection that is a real creative hobby.

Behind this project there years of passionate research involving not just the objects themselves but also and principally the exploration of the relationship between toys and their use, thus evoking distant times and magic. The exhibition has grown out of the curator’s personal curiosity but is also emotionally close to the general public, who have experimented with the toys themselves or have seen them in the houses of their parents or grandparents.

An itinerary made of intriguing items but also of atmospheres that in our times are no longer part of children’s daily lives. Gianni Marangoni, a well-known figure in the world of fashion and sartorial creativity, lends his work as collector to Mercanteinfiera in order to display pieces that can no longer be found and that have contributed to the growth of generations: are you ready to play?

“Stories of Luna”

The abandoned city becomes a place of buried ruins to be explored: the search yields statues, portraits, marble decorative fragments, epigraphs and coins that, through time, grow into rich and diverse private collections.

The history of searches at Luni has been going on uninterruptedly since the Middle Ages. Dante himself, while in exile in Lunigiana and actively involved in the political life of this region, wrote that looking at how Luni and Urbisaglia “have passed away, and how are passing Chiusi and Sinigaglia after them, to hear how races waste themselves away, will seem to thee no novel thing nor hard, seeing that even cities have an end” (Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Paradise, XVI, 73-79). Town of Luna 6 7 Collateral Exhibitions Luni was a Roman colony founded in 177BC at the mouth of the Magra river, in the plain immediately behind the coastline, near the marble quarries in the Apuan Alps. We learn from Pliny the Elder that the Romans founded Luna as a military outpost against the Ligurians and that after the foundation of the colony over 40,000 Apuan Ligurians were deported to Sannio while 2,000 Roman colons, veterans of the Actium battle (31BC), settled in Luna. Luni’s prosperity was tied to the exploitation of the marble, which from the port was shipped to different destinations around the Mediterranean.

In the 11th century Luni was totally abandoned when the risk of raids from the sea drove the population to move inland, to the town of Sarzana. Luni is symbolically linked to Parma because the latter was crossed by the Via Emilia, which was built in 187BC by the consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, one of the triumvirs responsible for the foundation of Luna. As a background to the archaeological materials, the exhibition will present previously unseen documents about the first searches carried out on the site; these are the drawings made by Carlo Promis in 1857 for the report written by Marquis Angelo Remedi about the first digs he himself had carried out.

The exhibition will display objects from 19th-century collections such as the bronzes found in the digs financed by Carlo Alberto of Savoy and marble artefacts from more recent excavations, such as the fragment of table leg (trapezophore) or the tile of the Augustan period with the head of Mars currently stored in warehouses.