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Bologna. A Statue to Remember Lucio Dalla?

N. L. (March 13, 2012)
The late singer's hometown is busy planning different ways to honor him. The latest proposition involves a life-like statue in the middle of the street where anybody can see him and shake his extended hand.

A star in his name on the “avenue of jazz,” the installation of speakers all over Via D'Azeglio so that his songs can be played all the time, a plaque in his Piazza Grande, a cultural association named after him, a yearly concert in his honor... these are just a few of the ideas thrown out there by the city of Bologna in remembrance of Lucio Dalla, the internationally renowned Italian musician, who died in Montreux during a European tour.
 

Bologna, Italy's food capital and the singer's hometown (Dalla was born in Bologna on March 4, 1943 – the date became the title of an successful song presented at the Sanremo music festival in 1971) that was often immortalized in his songs, is thinking of many ways to honor him, in an unofficial competition for the best idea yet.

The latest comes from an online magazine called L'Arengo del Viaggiatore. They launched a petition asking for the installation of a life-like statue of Dalla, to be installed on the street, surrounded by people busy with the going-ons of everyday life, in a corner of Piazza dei Celestini, by the late singer's home. The concept is similar to that of the statue of Fernando Pessoa outside of A Brasileira cafe in Lisbon.
 

The petition says “Lucio Dalla could be found in any corner of the city. There is no Bolognese who has not met him at least once in his/her lifetime. Arengo del Viaggiatore suggests to erect a statue of him extending his hand as if to shake the hand of each and every passer-by who wants to shake it.”
 

Enrico Gurioli reported on The Times of Malta: “'Bologna is my city because even if I have been away from it frequently and every time I go back it is a bit like the return of Ulysses,' Lucio Dalla had stated in one of his last interviews. Yet, this artist, so very famous all over the world, had a very close, popular and provincial rapport, made up of nocturnal encounters under the porticoes and in the taverns with friends or in summer in the kiosk run by Agnesa delle cocomere (the title of one of his songs).

For those who live in Bologna it was almost impossible not to meet Lucio Dalla, not to pose for a picture with him. He was a refined intellectual, of unusual intelligence, besides being one of the greatest Italian artists of the last few decades. In the heart of the city is his house, known to the people of Bologna and at which everyone today, passing by his last refuge, gives one more look, full of nostalgia and memories.”
 

Daniela Corneo, in an article published today on the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera adds that “in Piazza dei Celestini, the day of Dalla's death, people started collecting signatures in order to name the square after him. The initiators were Giovanni Silvestri of the bar Duca d’Amalfi and Susanna Carinci, a local lawyer. Yesterday at an official town council meeting, Marco Lisei of PDL proposed to name part of Via IV Novembre after the artist but the idea was turned down by the majority of the representatives. 'Changing the name of part of the street that goes from his home to Piazza Maggiore will not involve much work: it will affect just a bunch buildings that might need to get their civic number changed. The proposal has the support of Anna Maria Cancellieri, Italian Minister of the Interior. There is no need to wait ten years for an anniversary, but it can be done right away as it was done for Marco Biagi (an Italian jurist who was assassinated by members of the terrorist group New Red Brigades outside his home in Bologna on March 19, 2002).' Yet the proposal was not that successful at the official meeting. The Councilor for Culture, Alberto Ronchi added 'We are saying no the to frenzy of remembrance. There is the need for a moment of reflection, in silence.'”
 

Meanwhile the surviving cousins and the singer's old manager are working on the creation of Fondazione Lucio Dalla, but no details are available. “Things are moving along,” Dea Melotti, Dalla's cousin has declared. Another cousin, Simone Baroncini, declared that Dalla himself had been working on this project in order to help and promote new talents. “We want it to be a place to welcome concerts, theatrical performances, art shows and other cultural events.”

This is their way to pay homage to one of its most talented, inspired and insolent sons.

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