He was, and remains, the most charismatic Italian leader of recent decades on a political stage that has increasingly shrunk. Enrico Berlinguer, whose myth was powerful among communist voters but not only, will be remembered 40 years after his death with films, exhibitions and conferences which will culminate on the anniversary of his death, 11 June 1984. an exhibition richer in suggestive documents is announced: “The places and words of Enrico Berlinguer” scheduled at the former Mattatoio in Rome starting from 15 December and which will see various unpublished repertoires on display, which promise to have a strong emotional impact. And not only for those nostalgic over 60s, who decades later are still wrapped in the reassuring myth of Berlinguer, but also for younger generations. Above all for a “mix” that is still very original today: Berlinguer was radical in content and at the same time a man of legendary reserve, he detested any exhibitionism, he offered himself in small and spaced doses. The exhibition in preparation offers testimony to this style, through personal books, notes, manuscripts, all material intended to displace those accustomed to a vain, ephemeral, noisy politics.
The exhibition, organized by the “Associazione Enrico Berlinguer” and its president Ugo Sposetti, who for years has dedicated himself with the care of the “classical” philologist to the recovery of every trace of the history of Italian communism, is carried out as part of a funded project from the Anniversaries Mission Structure of the Prime Minister’s Office which, from what is known, offered
a collaboration in the name of that mutual respect, so rare in these times between the majority and the opposition. There are two weeks left until the opening of the exhibition, the invitations have not yet gone out but in addition to the Head of State, the Prime Minister should also be invited. Can you already imagine a visit from Giorgia Meloni? Possible, also because there is a historical precedent, but truly historical: the arrival of the MSI secretary Giorgio Almirante at Botteghe Oscure to pay homage to Berlinguer’s coffin. And there seems to be no photographic trace left of that passage: perhaps because that was an era in which symbolic gestures were made to make them, even before showing them off.
Berlinguer – as demonstrated by huge rallies, funerals and handed down memories – was a charismatic leader, even if obviously he was not the last leader to have graced the Italian scene and on the other hand he too – although loved – exerted a great influence controversial. There are historians, not from the right, who attribute a certain sectarianism – which has continued to this day – and a certain tendency to feel anthropologically better than others, as legacies of Berlinguer, even if obviously the exhibition is dedicated to restoring, with objective documents, the figure of the leader, through five sections: there will also be one dedicated to “affections”, in addition to the more political ones.
Among the many objects on display, the manuscript texts of the speech that Berlinguer had prepared on 16 March 1978: the original one and the one corrected after the kidnapping of Aldo Moro. But also the books read at age 20: alongside the classics of Marxism, here are texts by Nietzsche, Descartes, Leibniz. “Sassari 1942” is noted there: the writing is small but the horizon evoked by those authors is airy.