Kulturreisen + Fortbildungsveranstaltungen | Matthias Quast
The initiative. The City of Spoleto (Umbria) is planning to create a “University Campus” in the heart of the ancient city centre, located within the mediaeval walls in the so-called amphitheatre area; a distinguishing feature of this part of the city is the layering of urban structures down the centuries – most notably in the case of the Roman amphitheatre whose foundations are still visible – upon which two monasteries encompassing three churches were built at a later stage, before subsequently being turned into a military barracks. In 2000, the entire area became the property of Spoleto City Council. The idea is to create a campus open to all interested universities and to offer inter-disciplinary post lauream specialist courses in the field of the restoration and conservation of artistic heritage.

Spoleto’s own artistic history stretches back over more than 2000 years and can be traced to this day with extraordinary clarity through its layered architecture; it is surrounded by a rich territory whose landscape is renowned for its beauty. The city of Spoleto has played an important role as a cultural centre for some considerable time, open to scientific initiatives and well equipped with structures suitable for hosting teaching programmes and offering accommodation to students and teaching staff alike. Spoleto is therefore an ideal site for organising cultural activities, not least because of the reasonable costs involved in making use of these structures.

The amphitheatrum, the brainchild of Matthias Quast who launched the concept in 2006, is the first cultural initiative to be planned for the future University Campus. The programme aims to bring together the interests of individual guests with the skills and attributes of the various figures and institutions in situ, creating a common platform – theatrum – for the dialogue of the two – amphi – parts.

The achievements of the amphitheatrum can be viewed as a synthesis of projects developed by the overseas Institution visiting Spoleto and the amphitheatrum. The Institution concerned may offer a seminar, workshop, or summer school in Spoleto. The amphitheatrum may contribute to such an initiative by offering lessons and visits.

The amphitheatrum will undertake the logistical organisation of courses, as well as accommodation for both students and teaching staff. The amphitheatrum will also offer a programme of courses and visits on the theme of Umbrian culture (history, archeology, history of art and architecture, problems linked to artistic restoration, theatre), with contributions from local specialists.

The scientific and technical coordination will be handled by Matthias Quast, an art and architecture historian, specialising in the history of Italian architecture, who will be available to conduct lessons at all levels (introductory and advanced) as well as to lead guided tours of Umbria’s various artistic centres.

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