The 800th anniversary celebrations begin with the inauguration of the restoration of the canvases and labarums in the Sala dei Quaranta (Hall of the Forty) — the University of Padua thanks all those who donated to the Archivio Antico.
On Wednesday 29 September at 10.00 am in the Archivio Antico at Palazzo Bo, the two donor walls (canvases and labarums) with the names of the donors were unveiled to express gratitude for their generous contribution and trust in the work of the University of Padua.
The Sala dei Quaranta Project raised funds for the complete restoration of its canvases and labarums. In late October 2020, restoration work began on the first 14 canvases with a workshop set up inside Palazzo Bo, in the Aula di Lettere, whereas in September 2021 restoration work was completed on all 40 canvases that constitute the pictorial decoration of the Sala dei Quaranta. This restoration was achieved thanks to companies, professional associations, service clubs, professors, embassies and consulates who all supported the project. The fundraising campaign, launched by the Fundraising Office of the University’s Communication and Marketing Department, totalled more than €190,000, fully covering the costs of restoring the paintings and co-financing the restoration of the labarums.
While it is already impressive to glance through the list of faces created by Dal Forno, the Sala dei Quaranta also needs to be interpreted from another perspective. It is a cultural centre of attraction, a geographical map of what the University of Padua has represented, a universe of freedom and science, which has expanded in all directions over eight hundred years: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bohemia, Bosnia, Croatia, Denmark, Flanders, France, Germany, Greece, England, Ireland, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Romania and Hungary.