The statues of Monte 'e Prama are a highly significant manifestation of ancient art, for they represent historic-archaeological values as well as artistic ones in a single collection.
Preservation, study, knowledge and sharing of all this form the basis of the Cultural Project Monte 'e Prama, Prenda ‘e Zenia which is conceived with the goal of helping the 4880 stone fragments pass from their current status as mere relics to that of protagonists of the regional cultural heritage.
This premise mirrors the way in which the CCA, Centro di Conservazione Archeologica, approaches archaeological conservation. Starting with projects carried out in the early 1980s, the CCA has invested considerable resources in transforming typically technical restoration treatments into programs with a strong cultural content: dating from that time, restoration sites were opened to the public, and various initiatives were used to raise awareness among citizens and the media, together with publications.
This is the basis on which the CCA has prepared the cultural program described here: Monte 'e Prama, Prenda ‘e Zenia. The title of the initiative highlights the main thrust of the project: fill the chasm that centuries of neglect have created between the statues and the public. Although we are aware that the phase of study and conservation has supplied much valuable information, we are convinced that the most effective way to bring these statues back to life has been to restore their meaning by creating a direct relationship with the populace, to recover and understand how time has been layered over in the course of thirty centuries.
Therefore, the program was strongly geared towards public involvement, both by opening the restoration workshop and by other efforts that have actively facilitated widespread circulation of information.
The short-term objectives were to engage the public in order to create a consensus around the project themes. Longer-term objectives were to make students, academics and the public more familiar with the works and bring the statue images back into daily life, the island’s culture and books on archaeology. To reach these objectives, we have organized some activities that have taken place during the conservation-restoration treatment.
The traditional restoration workshop has become a Gallery Laboratory where the public could watch the conservation and restoration going on, live. Visitors could walk along the long balcony above the Gallery where they were surrounded by scenery that evokes the environment and context from which the statues came. A painting contest, a visitor questionnaire, didactic materials for students. But events certainly have not stopped at the Li Punti Gallery: with information materials, such as posters, flyers and publications, through the media and visitors, through press conferences, public meetings, and conferences. Exploiting the enormous potential of new technology, the Monte ‘e Prama Prenda ‘e Zenia project has been open throughout the country live through broadcasts of work in progress.