Istituto Mazziniano

On 22 June 1934 in the presence of Giovanni Gentile, the Istituto Mazziniano was opened, comprising the Museum, Archives and Library. The ceremony attracted journalists from all over Italy, also echoing abroad: a press review of July 1934 cites over 60 articles published in several foreign cities (Philadelphia, Montreal, Tunis, Buenos Aires, New York, Casablanca, Berlin and others).
Arranged by Arturo Codignola, director of the Istituto, with Orlando Grosso, then director of the Office of Fine Arts and History of the Municipality of Genoa, the exhibit is arranged in twelve rooms, ten of which are dedicated to pieces between 1746 and World War I. A large area was reserved to the Apostle, in the apartment inhabited by the Mazzini family.
During the war, the Istituto was closed for safety reasons and the collections were transferred in secure storages. Such precaution proved providential, as the building was significantly damaged during the bombing on the night between 22 and 23 October 1943.
Since then and until the restoration of 1982, a real museum no longer existed, but rather a series of thematic exhibitions, mostly on the occasion of anniversaries: the historical exhibition “Genova 1947-49” in 1948; a second exhibition titled “Genova Mazziniana e Garibaldi” in 1960; finally, the exhibition curated by Emilio Costa, on the centenary of the death of Giuseppe Mazzini (1972) in the rooms of Mazzini’s apartment.
Only in 1982, on the centenary of the death of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Istituto underwent major restoration works, involving the exhibition area, the halls of the library, archive and storage facilities, supervised by the then director Leo Morabito with architect Alessandro Casareto of Genoa. A second important exhibition was arranged for the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Mazzini. opened on 22 June 2005, designed by Leo Morabito, arranged by Roberto Boero and Elizabeth Augustine with the Squadra Allestimento Mostre of the Civic Museums Sector, and realised thanks to the Compagnia di San Paolo, it also included multimedia stations which allowed for interesting thematic analyses.
Since then, the exhibition has been partially renewed on several occasions: in 2007, for the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi; in 2010, for the 150th anniversary of the Expedition of the Thousand, the period covered in the exhibition was extended, with the opening of a new section dedicated to the inauguration of the Monument to the Thousand of Quarto (designed by Raffaella Bridge, arranged by Elizabeth Augustine, with the Squadra Allestimento Mostre) ; in 2011, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the educational section was completely renewed, both in Italian and English, with the help of the Regione Liguria, Notice 6/2010, Project “Comunicare la Storia”, and the section dedicated to young Mazzini was also renovated thanks to the Unità Tecnica di Missione, to also cover his first experiences as a member of the Carbonari secret revolutionary society and the Giovine Italia, and to include a new didactic area on Mazzini’s oath.
  • Inside
  • Bombing1943