CENTRO DI STUDI MALASPINIANI
Mulazzo, Massa-Carrara, Italia
NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRO
Year 2, no. 2
Edited by Dario Manfredi, translated by John Black
Meeting between the director of the Centro
di Studi Malaspiniani and Prince Diofebo VI Meli Lupi di Soragna.
Photograph by Maria Clotilde Pucci Fiori.
1. At Pontremoli, in the villa Dosi Delfini, a cultural
exhibition took place, in the course of which the director of the Centro
di Studi Malaspiniani met with Dr. Diofebo VI Meli Lupi, Prince of Soragna.
Dr. Diofebo Meli Lupi, who belongs to the maternal family of Alexandro
Malaspina, clearly has a lively interest in the Spanish branch of his
family: Felice Meli Lupi, a cousin of Alexandro, moved to Spain, where
he did military service in the Royal Navy, married a noblewoman of Irish
origin – Isabel Bryant – and died, as did his son-in-law de Castaños,
in the Battle of Trafalgar (1805).
To learn more about the Meli Lupi family and about the fairy-tale castle
of Soragna (in the Province of Parma), visit: http://www.quiinternet.com/soragna/index.html
2. On January 18 a meeting took place between Dr.
Paola Bordigoni, representative of the
Dante Alighieri Society (Honduras Chapter), the Mayor of Mulazzo, Prof.
Roberto Malaspina, and the director of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani.
Its purpose was to examine the possibilities of establishing a cultural
exchange between Central American artists and Lunigiana. The attempt will
now be made to organize an exhibition of painting and sculpture in Mulazzo
next summer. In conjunction with the exhibition, there could also take
place a study day devoted to the comparison of the popular sculpture of
Lunigiana and that of the Maya.
3. The statue-stele discovered at Groppoli di Mulazzo
(see the preceding issue - 2001/1 - of this newsletter)
has been transported to the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana.
Of these important ones prehistoric finds we will still speak to one of
the next news-bulletins.
PUBLISHING NOTES AND COMMENTS
- Actas II Simposio de Historia Marítima y Naval Iberoamericana,
[Viña del Mar]. Universidad Marítima de Chile, 1996, 430
We have only just received this volume, which contains, among 39 papers,
some with Malaspinian themes, as follows:
The author illustrates the patient work of Bauzá
– exiled in England – in correcting
Carlos BAUZÁ, "La expedición Malaspina y el levantamiento
cartográfico de las costas de Chile según la correspondencia
de Felipe Bauzá" (pp. 210-218).
various cartographic errors made by the officers of the Malaspina Expedition.
For this task the author employs the rich correspondence of Bauzá
with Martín Fernández de Navarrete, preserved in the archive
of the marquises of Legarda. We take the opportunity to point out that
photos of Bauzá's letters are also kept in the Museo
Naval in Madrid.
This paper illustrates the political-strategic motives which, rather
than considerations of public order, induced England to found the colony
of Sidney. Alexandro Malaspina understood that this was so.
Robert J. KING, "Spanish America in the Eighteenth Century. British Naval
Strategy and the Visit of the Malaspina Expedition to New South Wales in
1793" (pp. 220-233).
Dario MANFREDI, "Alejandro Malaspina y sus trabajos en Chile" (pp. 268-274).
This paper has the ambitious aim of re-evaluating - in the space of
very few pages - the whole significance of the Malaspina Expedition and
the life of its principal protagonists. Since the author appears unaware
of anything published in Italy since 1984, one is hardly surprised by the
fact that there are in this work a number of errors and omissions of various
types. But there is one point, above all, which requires repeated
comment, and that is the claim that Malaspina fell from favour because
of his "defence of the cause of liberty in Latin America." Well: no! Alexandro
certainly had many good points, but one cannot also attribute to him that
of being a forerunner of the liberty (or independence) of Spanish America.
It is true that he developed a plan for the decentralization of the Spanish
Empire, but that plan was proposed in order to keep the American territories
and the Philippines under the Bourbon crown, and certainly not to promote
their independence. To become convinced of this, one need do no more than
read with attention the Axiomas Políticos, which the same
Malaspina wrote even before setting off on the Expedition.
This work was written on the basis
of the diary of José de Bustamante – at
that time still unpublished.
Now that the document has been published in the
collection La Expedición
Malaspina, by the Museo Naval in Madrid and
Lunwerg Edicciones, the
account is no longer important.
Josephine H. SCHULTE, "La expedición científica de Malaspina:
un asunto internacional" (pp. 286-296).
Eric BEERMAN, "Bustamante y la Atrevida en
Chile (1790)" (pp. 324-)
The author – whose great precision, and, it might
be said, punctiliousness, is known to
all Malaspinistas – offers here a short but useful
biography of Bustamante. Sadly
(because the author is also a dear friend), we have
to express two criticisms:
# that there is a lack of any archival reference,
which would have proved very useful to anyone who wanted to engage in further
research on this noteworthy character;
# that there appears once more, on the surface
at least, the implication of an alleged "conspiracy" by Malaspina. Yet
Beerman – who has written a superbly documented and crucial volume on this
matter – should know better than anyone that it cannot be maintained that
Malaspina had accomplices: his only error consisted in being naive enough
to develop a plan to change the government and to propose it to the weak
sovereign Charles IV.
This magazine - official publication of the Programma de Investigación
Geográfico-Político Patagónico - deals with history,
economy, anthropology and other aspects of Patagonian society. We
draw your attention here to the article by María Marta Orfali Fabri
"El padre Nicolas Mascardi" (pp. 17-20). The Jesuit missionary Niccolò
Mascardi – born in Sarzana – lived for many years in Chile and in Patagonia,
converting the population and exploring part of the region.
Tiempos Patagónicos, Year 2, no. 4 (October 2000)
On p. 140 there is an historical picture of the villa Malaspina in Caniparola.
Società, economia, avvenimenti di Sarzana, Sarzana, Pubblica
Return to AMRC Homepage
Tradizioni popolari della Lunigiana, La Spezia, Istituzione per
i Servizi Culturali, 2000.
S. BALBI, E. PATRONE, R. PICCIOLI, A. ROZZI (eds.), Fiabe e folclore
nel levante ligure, Moneglia, La Massocca, 1996.
L. GARY CAPELLINI, A. ROZZI MAZZA (eds.), Arte e cultura nella storia
del sigillo, La Spezia, istituzione per i Servizi Culturali, 2000.