CasermArcheologica, was born, or reborn, like the phoenix depicted among the decorations in one of its rooms. It was always there, but it only emerged from the cracked stucco during  the renovation process, and it guided us through those months. The CasermArcheologica delivers to the City of Sansepolcro in the Tuscan Valtiberina, the spaces of the former Carabinieri barracks in Via Aggiunti, unused since the 1990s, now accessible and redeveloped thanks to a project of extraordinary maintenance work.

This palazzo has been present in the city’s history from back in 1536, the year of its construction; the first noble residence where Minerva Muglioni held literary salons, then the first home of Buitoni, a food company that is still one of the cornerstones of the local economy even today, then the Carabinieri barracks, and finally adapted to a gym and school in the 1990s. Then a long silence before new voices echoed through the walls.

In 2013, a group of students from the Liceo Città di Piero (Selective linguistic high school of Sansepolcro), together with their professor, Ilaria Margutti, entered for the first time into this decadent and fascinating atmosphere. They cleaned the  layers of dust accumulated over 30 years of inactivity and began organising contemporary art exhibitions, concerts, performances –  an extraordinary movement from below, which attracted an inter-generational and proactive community.

At the end of 2015, that spontaneous and vibrant movement was interrupted when the space was deemed unusable by the Fire Department, due to the inadequacy of the antique electrical system. For several months, it seemed impossible to overcome that hurdle, given the economic expense involved. It was thought that the rich experience had definitely come to an end.

Instead, today we say that this judgement gave the CasermArcheologica its biggest opportunity. It forced us to stop that spontaneous movement and to lift our gaze from the crisis and look further, to plan in the medium to long term. We have put into practice the experiences, the needs, and the matured desires and placed the question of sustainability at the centre.

CasermArcheologica is a place to discover talents, enhance skills, and develop professionalism in dialogue with the economic and creative make-up of the territory.

The overall project was to create:
– the first exhibition and laboratory space in Valtiberina dedicated to the languages of contemporary arts, through co-creation paths shared with artists, children and cultural professionals of the area, in continuous exchange with local citizens.
– A co-working space, dedicated to young professionals who desire a place to work in a context of collaboration and project assistance
– Training (continuous and permanent) to introduce new skills and to encourage a fruitful exchange of knowledge.

For more information about CasermArcheologica, visit the website here.