Matera, the whale Giuliana returns free. Mayor Bennardi: “A resource for the city”

twelve o’clock, March 30 2021 – 09:32

Open the crates where the gigantic Pleistocene fossil had been kept for fifteen years in a deposit of the Ridola museum. The director of the National Museum, Annamaria Mauro: “Now the recovery of the find”

of Alessandra Martellotti

Giuliana is free. The largest whale fossil in the world sees its light again after 15 years. Yesterday at the Ridola museum in Matera the 12 boxes were reopened which housed the extraordinary Pleistocene artefact, discovered in 2006 on the banks of the San Giuliano dam, hence the name. A prehistoric cetacean 26 meters long and weighing between 130 and 150 tons, well beyond a dinosaur. The dimensions are shown in a paleontology study by the University of Pisa, engaged in the recovery work of the find, together with the Central Institute for Restoration, with the collaboration of the Municipality, the coordination of the Superintendence and the National Museum of Matera.

shadow carousel

Matera, the fossil remains of the whale come back to light
Mauro: “It will be exhibited in the museum”

“It was the mayor Domenico Bennardi and the superintendent Francesco Canestrini who urged me, at the time of my inauguration, to undo the knots that until now have prevented us from ensuring a future for the find that still awaits to be revealed to the community of Matera and to the world. », Explains the director, Annamaria Mauro:« I realized how much the city cared about and made it a cornerstone of my mission ». Now the next step is to “start the actual recovery of the remains of the find within a few weeks, entrusting the assessment of the state of conservation and enhancement of Giuliana to the evaluations of Professor Giovanni Bianucci of the University of Pisa. to be exhibited inside the Fio building, in the museum ».

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The mayor: “Great emotion”

«A day of extraordinary importance for Matera – comments the mayor, Bennardi -, there will be countless repercussions not only for the city but for the whole region, both in terms of tourist attraction and on that of science. Innovation and virtual reality could be useful for a hypothetical reconstruction and use of the fossil. It will be possible to think of a narrative path, from the place of discovery to that of exhibition, through which to tell our story. Today’s opening – adds the mayor – does not yet allow us to ascertain the real state of conservation of the fossil, which is still covered in plaster and terracotta casings. Once the first cracks were opened, the emotion was great. Now we will need the intervention of the best possible workers. But in the meantime I asked that the crates not be closed again pending restoration. Indeed, we hope to be able to present the Julian whale to the world as early as June 29, during the G20, one of which will be at the Ridola ».

March 30, 2021 | 09:32

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