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S.Eligio celebra il suo 5° Centenario
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"Being a goldsmith requires talent, humility and the sacrifice of long training," says Corrado di Giacomo, the last descendant of a Roman dynasty of goldsmiths. He is one of the few artisans who has the skill - and the patience - to restore an ostensory dating back to the 18th century.

To become a goldsmith and restorer of these objects you need love and passion for this profession, for culture, for history and for ancient works of art,? Corrado di Giacomo said.

Di Giacomo, an archivist consul, is one of the 42 members in the University of the Goldsmiths, founded by Pope Julius II 500 years ago. The University is based in the church of Sant?Eligio, the patron of goldsmiths.

Its archive includes documents of priceless value, such as the statute of 1509 issued by Julius II, a manuscript that grants goldsmiths the permission to build their church and found a university to study their craft.

The guild guards a treasure of chalices and pixes which give just a glimpse of the skills of its members and their historical influence at the Vatican. For four centuries, until 1870, the guild was in charge of minting papal coins.

In a State, the institution that checks the production, the quantity and quality of coins, is very important. Also, our members used to make the Golden Rose of the popes, which traditionally were the gift of the popes to monasteries and communities, Di Giacomo said.

These works of art continue to inspire a young generation of goldsmiths. The guild, backed by the Vatican, has launched an international competition on how to design a mitre and a pectoral cross for the Pope. The fruits will be given to Benedict XVI next December.

MB/DG

 
Università degli Orefici Via S. Eligio, 7 - 00186 - Roma - Tel. 06-6868260- Fax 06-6868260 - E-mail: info@universitadegliorefici.it
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