Andrea BRAGHIROLI
(Dipartimento di Architettura Disegno Storia Progetto, Firenze, Italy)

Abstract:In May 2012, two major earthquakes occurred in the Emilia-Romagna region, causing 26 casualties and widespread damage across the cities of the area, the surrounding countryside and the productive infrastructure. Also the cultural heritage, composed of little churches, castles and city buildings, was severely damaged.
The first earthquake, registering magnitude 6.1, struck on 20 May 2012 at 04:03 local time; the epicenter was between Finale Emilia and San Felice sul Panaro. Two aftershocks of magnitude 5.2 occurred the same day, killing seven people.
Nine days later, on 29 May, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the same area, causing an additional eighteen deaths and widespread damage, particularly to buildings already weakened by the 20 May earthquake. In the whole area 14000 people were left homeless.
Mirandola is located in the middle of the earthquake area. The town originated as a Renaissance city-fortress. For four centuries it was the seat of at Duchy, a possession of the Pico family, whose most outstanding member was the polymath Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
Many buildings in the city center were severely damaged, forcing the local administration to forbid accessing to the whole area.
Among them public buildings such as The Palazzo del Comune (a 15th Century Gothic edifice), the castle of the Pico family, which had been recently restored and opened to the public. Both of them are now damaged.
Also churches like the Duomo, dating from the end of the 15th century, and S. Francesco, a fine Gothic church that  housed the tombs of the Pico family (14th century), were completely destroyed; the Baroque Church of the Gesù (1690) was severely damaged.
Now the city center is partially accessible, but only for people who live there. Some works have been completed to secure some buildings (like the San Francesco Church facade), but mainly the old city is still desert and hoping for further intervention. The poster proposed here wants to show and to locate the sense of loss from the missing parts of the town and the effect of emergency on the people uprooted from their usual contest; at the same time, the images and the story presented here want to underline the will of restart, continue and recover from this disaster.

Keyword: Earthquake, Emilia, Identity, Architecture, Cultural Heritage