A number of charitable organizations and local sponsors joined forces beginning the week of April
24 to bring to the grounds of the Villa Comunale
two significant exhibitions (1) to raise funds for children in
developing countries, and (2) to raise public awareness of what it means to be old and alone.
The Villa Comunale is the long seaside park in the Chiaia section of Naples; it stretches from the Mergellina
section of Naples in the west to the tunnel at the east end of the park that joins Chiaia with Naples
proper and the main port. First, a local cultural association, "Napoli nostra"
with the VIS (Italian acronym for International Volunteer Organisation for Development) invited
local artists simply to show up and paint--whatever they want--on a series (more than 100) of very
large canvases set up near the Anton Dohrn
aquarium, the large building that dominates the center of the
park. By early Monday morning, a number of artists were already at work. After the art work has
been on open-air display for a while, the paintings will be taken down and auctioned off on the
premises of the
Gran Caffè Gambrinus
, the historic cafè across piazza Plebiscito from the Royal Palace. The
proceeds will go to the VIS and be channelled to services that provide for needy children in various
parts of the world.
Second, the Community of Sant'Egidio is sponsoring a large and impressive photographic
exhibition from April 22 to May 6 at the Casina Pompeiana, a small building on the north side of
the Villa Comunale across from the large Dohrn aquarium. The exhibit is entitled "Gli anziani
senza amore muoiono"
(The Elderly Die Without Love). The "Community of Sant'Egidio" is a
charitable organization begun in Rome in 1968, in the period following the Second Vatican
Council. It is a "Church public lay association" with more than 50,000 members in more than 70
countries throughout the world. It stresses caring for the poor and elderly.