​Florence. Street Art celebrates Anna Frank

A mural on the wall of the school that bears the name of the young Jewish woman who died in a concentration camp

ISISTL Russell Newton
02 marzo 2022 14:32
​Florence. Street Art celebrates Anna Frank

Street art celebrates Anna Frank and commemorates the Holocaust Memorial Day with a mural. The work of art was inaugurated today in the school that bears the name of the young Dutch Jewish woman who died in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen and who bequeathed to the world her famous diary. At the inauguration there were, among the others, the commisioners for Education, Sara Funaro, for Youth Policies, Cosimo Guccione, for Holocaust Remembrance Alessandro Martini, the president of the 4th Quartiere Mirko Dormentoni, the president of Youth Policies, Commissioner Marco Burgassi, the Jewish Community president Enrico Fink, and the headteacher Flora Bottino.

"“This mural, born from a participatory path that saw students of different ages as protagonists, is a work of art.” said the commissioner for Education Sara Funaro. “It invites us, everytime we see it, to focus on the Shoah and not to forget the suffering and the horrors that it caused. In these days, when we are witnessing the instrumental use of Nazi-Fascist symbols and serious episodes of insults and attacks on Jews - I am refering to what happened in Campiglia Marittima - we must not forget the dark pages of our history.

We are deeply convinced,” concluded Commissioner Funaro, “That we must work to raise awareness among citizens starting from the school. It is necessary to work daily in schools to ensure that our memory stays alive".

"The mural is not only a work of art that will serve for the future, to hand down the memory of Anne Frank and the Shoah, but it is also the result of a project that involved young people in designing it.”, underlined the Commissioner for Youth Policies, Cosimo Guccione, “This work, created by a group of students of the Artistic High School of Porta Romana, will certainly help to re-discover Anna’s message. In particular, the younger generations who, after seeing this work, may decide to read her diary".

"We are on the eve the Holocaust Memorial Day, but we are committed to these values all year round,” said the commissioner for the Holocaust Remembrance Alessandro Martini, “The realisation of this mural testifies to how solid this responsibility is.

During the year we have to hold these values high and keep them alive so that this tragic truth of history, the Shoah, and everything that happened on that terrible page of the twentieth century, is not only never repeated, but can also serve as a warning to young people and younger generations. It is a reminder for the importance of striving for a new culture, marked by hospitality, solidarity and secular fraternity in which we can all identify . The recent episode of Campiglia Marittima”, added Commissioner Martini, “testifies to how we can never let our guard down and how, unfortunately, we have never escaped these problems. Racism and anti-Semitism are themes that we have to deal with every day. That’s why we started a week ago, with the pavement plaques, and continue today with the inauguration of the mural, and tomorrow with the official ceremony at the Auschwitz Memorial. In the next few days we will continue: we need to do something all year round”.

“We joyfully greet this work of art of great cultural significance and remembrance, which was created by young people. We are proud and happy, also because,” the president of 4th Quartiere Mirko Dormentoni declared, “now all the people who enter this school will not only receive an extraordinary message and point of reflection, but also a touch of beauty that helps to make this important school environment in the district of Soffiano more welcoming”.

The project began with the objectives of strengthening identity by cultivating memory and upgrading the school environment, making it more welcoming. Hence, the idea of proposing the realisation of the mural to the students of the Artistic High School of Porta Romana, and the choice of the Ghiberti Comprehensive School - home also to the Anna Frank primary school - to host it. The Ghiberti Comprehensive has stipulated both a special agreement, as well as a training agreement to ensure that the students of their secondary school carried out the work through the 'Percorsi per competenze trasversali e per l’orientamento' (PCTO, “Pathways for transversal skills and orientation”)

The project started with Annalisa Savino, the then school director of Ghiberti. In the school year 2020-2021, class III A of the high school's painting and sculpture course worked on sketches centred on the figure of Anne Frank. These sketches attempted to express the values that she wanted to communicate in her diary, whilst, at the same time, being understandable and suitable for an environment frequented by children aged 6 to 10. The choice of the image to be created on the school wall, from among the many beautiful sketches produced by the students of the Porta

Romana art school, was made through a participatory process that involved the schools, the municipality with the Education and Policies departments, the District with the President Dormentoni and the Jewish community.

Since the students’ sketches are so beautiful, Commissioner Funaro suggested the publication of photographs of all the works produced. The mural was done on the wall of the gym which is by the main entrance of the school, the most visible point from the street.

This wall greatly impacts all those who walk into the garden of the school: students, staff, families and many athletes who use the gymnasium in extracurricular hours for sports activities such as volleyball and climbing.

Holocaust Memorial Day, director Hazanavicius at Palazzo Vecchio

On the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day celebrations on 27 January 2022, the Museo Novecento will present a special event with Oscar-winning film director Michel Hazanavicius, author of the famous film The Artist. In the Sala d'Arme (Armour Hall) in Palazzo Vecchio, Hazanavicius will talk with Cristina Di Domenico, Editor-in-Chief of TGR Toscana, Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, Director of France Odeon and Giorgio van Straten, President of FAF - The Alinari Photography Foundation.

The meeting, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., will be introduced by Alessandro Martini, Commissioner for the Holocaust Memorial Culture. From the morning, starting from 10 a.m. until 8.30 p.m., images of the preparatory drawings made by the director for his new animated film dedicated to the Holocaust, A Very Precious Commodity, which sees as protagonist a child and a woodcutter family will be projected.

Michel Hazanavicius (Paris, 1967) in addition to being a great film director, screenwriter and producer, is also an extraordinarily talented designer who imagines the shots of his films by first drawing them and then transferring them to the big screen.

“Also this year, as we have always done since 2018, the museum Novecento actively participates in the Day of Remembrance, and does not shirk his role of frontal reflection with the darkest sides of history and human societies'', states Sergio

Risaliti, artistic director of the Museo Novecento. “Now more than ever it is necessary to take the floor, to take relevant positions, trying to discard the false and useless rhetorics of ancient monuments and to regenerate the symbolic language, making the artists protagonists of these occasions”.

Art that looks in the face of evil, inhuman violence, that breaks the silence and brings light where there is bewilderment and darkness, where the unspeakable tragedy makes us deaf and blind. Having the great director Michel Hazavanicius with us in Florence is a source of great satisfaction and above all we are happy to share with the citizens a message of poetry such as the one that the director can offer with his drawings and animated fairy tale".


Sala d'Arme (Armour Hall) - Palazzo Vecchio Museum

  • Program: 10 a.m. - 8.30 p.m. screening of drawings from A Very Valuable Commodity by Michel Hazanavicius
  • - 6 p.m. Meeting with director Michel Hazanavicius, with the participation of: Cristina Di Domenico, Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, Giorgio van Straten

    Free admission, subject to availability. Super Green Pass and identity document must be shown upon entrance. FFP2 masks must be worn at all times.

    Tradotto da: Aprigliano Nadia, Bianchini Leonardo, Bodea Alexandra Maria, Brizi Niccolò, Buonagurelli Martina, Cavallin Aurora, Giacinti Alice, Giani Tommaso, Iocca Giulia, Lotti Azzurra, Manco Christian, Ribeiro Edoardo, Tocchini Carlotta, Tuveri Elena della classe 5G Linguistico dell’Istituto Russell-Newton

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