Structural and environmental damage

«And this temple shall become a heap of ruins. Every passerby shall catch his breath in amazement, and ask, “Why has the LORD done this to the land and to this temple?”» [1Re 9,8 (2Cr 7,21)].

As we can see in the photographs, numerous damages have undermined the stability of San Rufino’s Church over the last few decades. The Church was rebuilt at the end of the 19th Century, though it was completed and decorated at the end of the 1930s. Neither maintenance nor restructuring work was carried out on the building after the 1930s, with the exception of the deviation of the rainwater system from the under the edifice, and the connection of the main three blocks: the Church; the Bell Tower, and the Rectory. Both projects were carried out by the engineer Maurizio Bruzzo, at the request of Don Paolo Molinari in 1949. In his memoirs, Don Paolo Molinari wrote that «After a few years the Church was built (which with its impressiveness should have lasted through centuries, in the intention of its constructors at least), visible crack started to appear in both the Rectory and the Church».

Degrado ambienteThe land which the Church is built upon tends to collapse and is in need of rapid geotechnical intervention. Other than the gradual collapse of the roof, which is decayed, and the Rectory’s precarious conditions, which has suffered various collapses in the internally and externally, in the last few years the façade and the apsidal wall have become dangerously deteriorated. The latter is in danger being completely destroyed by the weather. The beautiful Bell Tower, which is also in bad conditions as a result of neglect, is covered in bushes and thorns, has started to lean to one side, as the Rectory started to collapse.

The surrounding lands, which were once occupied by well looked after luxuriant fields, allotments, orchards, and vineyards (of which the inhabitants of the valley were proud of), are now completely deteriorated and invaded by weeds. However, the weeds cannot hide the disrepair that displays the painful social and environmental suffering of this place, which partly resulted from the depopulation of Borbera Valley in the after war.

It is pointless to deny that difficulties have not been encountered, and that it is a difficult time for our organisation to be working on this project. The current financial crisis not only affects the worldwide economy, but also all aspects of our life. In many cities, people who are at risk of losing their jobs or have already lost it, are taking to the streets. Nowadays, everything seems to be linked to the economy’s requirement, and since a church such as that of San Rufino does not generate a profit, there is a lack of interest in restructuring it. This reluctance has not only contributed to the degradation of the Church, but also to the destruction of an important cultural heritage.



  Nostalgia pierces through the walls

The cracks and to the livid green approaches

The ivy that surrounds

And almost the rubbles hold together.

The suffering that gives meaning to

A man digs also the crumbling

Body of a temple and into its

Silent cry, upwind suspended

From the cusp at half-sky,

Shaking the sunk paradoxes

In the history of human consciences.

The light, a faint veil, harmonizes,

Wrapping up, in boundless silences, where

Bells adorned the evenings

Back to a large

Whispered chant and now, emptied

Of everything and even of its because,

The mountain surrenders to the dark that

Makes it thinner, remote residence of

A fox that at the trough

Quenches the thirst of laborious fasting.

Over the landscape and the numbness of oblivion

That the mist encloses there is

The truth to be contemplated with

Patience, through the semblance

Of things. Beyond leans

The mystery that the seasons

Combines intensely and

Transfigures in essence,

With brief evidence encouraging

The chiseled slopes and

The trice that also wishes again.

 Valentina Incardona

Campanile luce


- English translation by Pier Luigi Coda -


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