C E N T R O   D I   S T U D I   M A L A S P I N I A N I


Mulazzo, Massa-Carrara, Italy

Communiqué No.1,      22 November 2000

Edited by Dario Manfredi, translated by John Black

   For the purpose of keeping Malaspinistas all around the world informed of news and projects concerning the rôle of the navigator Alessandro Malaspina, and of his family in general, in the history of Lunigiana and of European Enlightenment thought, this Centro is taking the opportunity to begin sending out a series of communiqués (on a more or less fortnightly basis).
    This first communiqué is sent to a small group of historical Malaspina scholars as well as to news media and to other researchers interested to the activity of the Centro or in the history of scientific maritime exploration.
    Anyone not interested in reading future communiqués is kindly requested to let the Centro know, so that distribution to him or her will be suspended.
    On the other hand, anyone who is able to suggest the addresses of other researchers interested in these matters is urged to submit their e-mail addresses.
    Comments and suggestions for making these communiqués more and more interesting and useful will be greatly appreciated.
    If the suggestion meets with approval, we shall also begin distributing the communiqués in Spanish, English and French.
    Thanks for your co-operation.


1.    Today the Centro Malaspina was visited by Prof. Alex H. Vallega of the Catholic University of Argentina (Buenos Aires).  Prof. Vallega spoke with the Mayor of Mulazzo, Prof. Roberto Malaspina, and with the Director of the Centro, Dario Manfredi, for the purpose of examining real possibilities for a continuing cultural collaboration between the Catholic University of Argentina and the Centro Malaspina.  Such a collaboration, which would take the form of a staggered exchange of students interested in deepening the understanding of the respective historical-social-cultural realities of Patagonia and Lunigiana, could cement a true "twinship" between the two regions.
    Vallega, Malaspina and Manfredi find themselves in agreement on the concept that a ceremony of twinship would not have any utility unless it were afterwards accompanied in a continuing fashion by coherent cultural interaction. The parties are now in the process of examining various problems in more detail, so that they may be resolved in the best possible way.
    Prof. Vallega gave some interesting publications on Argentina to the Centro Malaspina library.

2.    Recently a team from the daily paper La Repubblica visited the Centro, with a view to publishing in its travel supplement (which comes out on Thursday) an article on the Dante sites in Lunigiana, and specifically on Mulazzo and the Malaspinas of Mulazzo.  At the same time, the possibility of another article on the Malaspina Expedition was explored.  We shall alert you in good time before the publication of these articles.

3.    Thanks to the timely intervention of Blanca Sáiz, the Centro Malaspina has been able to acquire from Madrid a Bartolomé Vázquez engraving (from a sketch by Fernando Brambilla) representing the mausoleum erected in Manila to the memory of Antonio Pineda.  This work, engraved on copper in 1796, has been reprinted in limited editions since 1935.  The print in question probably belongs to the first edition.

4.    The researcher Marco Angella has discovered two documents pertaining to Caterina Meli Lupi di Soragna, the mother of Alexandro Malaspina; they consist of her will and a subsequent codicil.  Copies of such documents have been given by Prof. Angella to the Centro Malaspina.  The same scholar had previously tracked down the first will of Alexandro Malaspina.  This document differs in many points from the second will (which was edited in 1929 by C. Caselli). The first will of Alexandro Malaspina will shortly be published (by Mark Angella and Dario Manfredi) in the Giornale Storico della Lunigiana [Historical Journal of Lunigiana].

5.    In Mulazzo, in Piazza Alessandro Malaspina, the Town Council, at the request of the Centro Malaspina, has provided for the restoration of the secular "Piazza Column" on which for centuries the Marquises posted proclamations and laws. The last Marquis of Mulazzo to use the Column was Azzo Giacinto III, brother of Alexandro Malaspina.


1.    The volume Españoles en Italia e Italianos en España [Spaniards in Italy and Italians in Spain], published by the University of Alicante, contains an article by Emilio Soler, "Fernando Brambila, pintor de cámara de Carlos IV" ["Fernando Brambilla, Court Painter of Carlos IV"]
(pp. 27-38).

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