An exhibition tells us there was a tannery in Mediolanum

An exhibition tells us there was a tannery in Mediolanum

It is called “Le Vie dell’Acqua a Mediolanum” (The Ways of Water in Mediolanum, ed) and it will be open from today, 18 May 2023, until 31 March 2024. It is set up at the Civico Museo Archeologico in Milan and enjoys the support of UNIC – Italian Tanneries. The reason is quickly stated. There was a tannery in Mediolanum and a significant part of the exhibition recounts its importance as an example of the close relationship between the waterways that ran through the city since ancient times, defining its development and future.

Le Vie dell’Acqua a Mediolanum

Presented on Wednesday, 17 May, as a preview, Le Vie dell’Acqua a Mediolanum is an exhibition that “traces the close relationship between Mediolanum and water, which has shaped the city since its origins and determined its fortunes. The theme, developed mainly with reference to Roman times, is illustrated through numerous testimonies that have emerged from excavations conducted in the city in recent years”. From these, “the fundamental contribution of urban archaeology to the rediscovery and preservation of the city’s memory shines through”.

There was a tannery in Mediolanum

“The exhibition illustrates the multiple uses and management systems of water in Milan in ancient times, highlighting how this resource marked its history and prosperity”. It includes “more than 300 exhibits, most of which have never been seen before, represented by everyday and valuable objects, such as sculptures, jewellery and frescoes, and is accompanied by a rich graphic and photographic display”. Among these, one part concerns the virtual reconstruction (in the photo) “of a real tanning district that emerged in Piazza Meda during archaeological excavation work prior to the construction of a car park”. An “exceptional find”, dating back to the 1st century A.D. and “confirming Milan’s role as a major manufacturing centre, a role it has maintained throughout its history”.

UNIC’s contribution

The support for this initiative confirms the cultural mission of UNIC – Italian Tanneries, made explicit, for example, in the promotion of the restoration of the ancient tannery found in the excavations of Pompeii. The exhibition “Le Vie dell’Acqua a Mediolanum” is realised by Civico Museo Archeologico in collaboration with Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the metropolitan city of Milan. And it benefits from the scientific contribution of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Department of History, Archaeology and Art History.

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