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Closed, on 1 April, with great success the exhibition ‘Impronte. Noi e le piante’: over 21,000 visitors

16 April ore 00:00 - 31 May ore 23:59

Over 21,000 people visited ‘Impronte – Noi e le Piante, the exhibition organised by the University of Parma’s Sistema Museale di Ateneo between 13 January and 1 April at the Palazzo del Governatore. A decidedly positive result, which rewards the choice of integrating modern and ancient materials, local collections and ‘pieces’ from other institutions, creating a rich and multifaceted itinerary centred on the innate beauty of the plant kingdom and scientific research.

The exhibition was realised in collaboration with the Municipality of Parma and the Botanical Garden of the University of Padua, under the patronage of National Geographic Italia and Le Scienze, and thanks to the fundamental support of Fondazione Cariparma, Gruppo Chiesi and Davines Group.

By reconstructing the scientific album of our relationships with plants from the 15th century to the present day, ‘Impronte’ recounted in parallel the evolution of visual representation technologies, the succession of discoveries and the gradual transformation of the very idea of the plant among researchers, researchers and the public. Visitors were literally able to browse through the magnificent images on display as in a sort of family album, discovering rigorous and fascinating illustrations, exotic and precise prints, pyrotechnic and unexpected photographs, books and herbaria that speak of places and people, bringing order to utilities, discoveries, biodiversity, ecology and experimental data that become aesthetics. By inviting us to follow the footprints that so many different disciplines have left behind, the exhibition highlighted how much the answers to non-trivial and evidently deeply felt questions have changed over time, starting with what a plant really is and how it relates to the world.

The exhibition, based on more than 200 objects, was appreciated for the presence of material from local institutions (Convitto Maria Luigia, Biblioteca Palatina, Fondazione Cariparma, Orto Botanico) as well as from nationally important institutions. This very aspect represents an important legacy for the University Museum System and for the city. “Impronte’ not only fascinated the people who visited it, but also laid the foundations for a better valorisation of Parma’s historical and botanical heritage. In this sense, a further prestigious achievement is the signing of a framework agreement between the University of Parma and the University of Padua for the joint development of museum activities centred on their respective botanical gardens. This choice revived relations that were already strong at the end of the 18th century, when Gianbattista Guatteri, before founding the current Botanical Garden of Parma, was sent to Padua to learn and transfer the essence of the world’s oldest botanical garden.

Confirming the success of the exhibition and the content offered by ‘Impronte’ is also the trend in visits, which gradually increased over the weeks until reaching the final figure of 21,423.This is a sign of an important appreciation and word of mouth that has gone hand in hand with constant media attention.

The numbers for groups and schools were also significant: more than 100 groups took advantage of the guided tours and educational workshops, also arriving from outside Parma, testifying to an attraction that did not only concern the city.
Over a thousand children and girls participated in the workshops. And over 300 attended the side events at the exhibition.

The public success of ‘Impronte – Noi e le Piante’ represents an important basis for the future of the University of Parma Museum System. In fact, the layout and the decision to focus on the relationships between people and plants anticipate the cornerstone on which the Botanical Garden’s cultural and scientific offer will soon hinge, the subject of an extensive restoration and redevelopment project financed with public and private funds.


16 April ore 00:00
31 May ore 23:59
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U.O. Sistema Museale di Ateneo
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Palazzo del Governatore
Piazza Garibaldi
Parma, PR 43121 Italia
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