Tiziano Terzani

The Tiziano Terzani Library: the deed of gift has been signed The Cini Foundation has been presented with Terzani’s private library.

Around 6,000 books on Japan, China, India and Indochina will enhance the resources of the Study Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spirituality The Giorgio Cini Foundation has announced the impending arrival of an important new donation: Tiziano Terzani’s private library, presented by his wife Angela Terzani Staude. The deed of gift was signed today in Venice and by the end of the month the first group from the total of around 6,000 books once owned by the great Florentine writer will leave his home for its final destination on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The arrival of the books also marks the inauguration of the Study Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spirituality, due to start up its activities on 31 May and 1 June with an international conference entitled Tiziano Terzani: portrait of a connoisseur.

The addition to the Cini Foundation’s library resources of Tiziano Terzani’s book collection will also provide the opportunity to study further this major figure in Italian contemporary culture as well as spread and develop his highly original vision. Terzani’s library of around 6,000 books collected throughout his life time includes publications on history, the cultural history of Eastern countries, art and many travelogues by Westerners providing a good all-round view of what has been written in the West on travels to the East, i.e. to the former Soviet republics, Japan, China, India and the Indochinese peninsula.

The books that Tiziano gathered throughout his life” – comments his wife Angela Terzani Staude – “were everything to him. He not only simply purchased books but hunted for them in antique shops and village markets; he sought them out and looked after them very carefully: each book has its own particular story. He always said that after his death I could leave them to whomsoever I wished but that I had to keep them together. When I saw the library in the new Manica Lunga, I’m immediately thought that the Cini Foundation was the right place for them.”

The around 6,000 books will form part of the library of the new Study Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spirituality: by the end of the month the first 2,000 titles on Japan and China will arrive. “Venice has always been a bridge between East and West” – points out Pasquale Gagliardi, Secretary General of the Giorgio Cini Foundation– “and in this context the Terzani donation has found the ideal setting since it can be used as a valuable resource for promoting studies on the civilisations of India and the Far East as well as encouraging dialogue between different peoples, cultures and religions.”

Tiziano Terzani’s life, creativity and writing career will be the subject of an international conference from 31 May to 1 June 2012 entitledTiziano Terzani: portrait of a connoisseur.

Staged with the contribution of publishers Longanesi, the event aims to investigate all aspects of the many-sided figure of Terzani to form a portrait free of prejudices and clichés. Curated by Àlen Loreti, the conference will be divided into five sessions on Terzani’s life and work (writer, journalist, explorer, spiritualist and thinker). Many people who were acquainted with or esteemed him in various ways will attend. They include: Adelchi Battista, Mauro Novelli, Carmen Lasorella, Franco Contorbia, Vincenzo Cottinelli, Silvia Zangrandi, Federico Fubini, Eraldo Affinati, Gian Carlo Calza, Alberto De Maio, Silvano Nistri, Ekkehart Krippendorff, Giuliano Amato, Michael Jaeger and Gherardo Colombo.

Besides celebrating the gift of the library, the conference will mark the beginning of events organised by the new Study Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spirituality at the Giorgio Cini Foundation. The new Centre has evolved naturally from the previous Venice and the East Institute, which was founded in 1958 with the principal aim of promoting the study of the civilisations of India and the Far East. Over the years it was a forum for continuous dialogue between East and West, between different peoples, cultures and religions as well as a resource for scholars from all over the world attracted by its remarkably rich library and its seminars, conferences and publications. The new Centre will adopt a comparative and intercultural approach with a special emphasis on religious and spiritual dimensions of the civilisations being studied and compared. It will also have a broader outlook to take in the most important spiritual traditions in the world and not only those in Eastern cultures.

For information:

Centro Studi di Civiltà e Spiritualità Comparate Philip Valentini

e-mail : civilta.comparate@cini.it

Tel : +39 041 2710228