Petition on behalf of the Istituto Storico Italiano

To the Members of the Medieval Academy of America:

Italy’s premier scholarly institute for the study of the Middle Ages, the Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, has received an eviction order from the mayor of Rome that would effectively destroy this 138-year old institution—including its specialized library open to the public, funded research projects, editorial and publishing operations, and its national school for the study of the Middle Ages—by forcing it out its center on Piazza d’Orologio in Rome within 90 days. The Istituto has resided at Piazza d’Orologio 4 for close to a century. The reasons given for the eviction are patently false.

Most medievalists know the Istituto through its organization, funding, and publication of several important series of critical editions and studies, chief among them the Fonti per la storia d’Italia Medievale. But the ISIME’s library in the heart of Rome, open to all researchers, is also an essential resource for research on the Middle Ages.

We urge members to sign the petition posted by the Institute’s secretary and available at this link.

The Presidential Officers of the Medieval Academy of America have written directly to Professor Massimo Miglio, President of the Istituto, to express their support. Their letter will be forwarded to the appropriate officials of the comune.

Here is an English translation of the petition:

The Municipality of Rome (letter dated 9/11/2020, received on 16/11/2020) has evicted the Istituto storico italiano per il medioevo from its premises, which the institute has occupied since 1923 by decision of the then Minister Pietro Fedele. The Municipality has requested to “willingly release the premises, to free it from people and things, within 90 days from receipt of this letter…”. The Municipality further threatens the “forced reacquisition of the property” on the false grounds that the Institute owes 24,437.88 Euros, affirming that the premises are required for the Archivio storico capitolino, which had been placed in the Borrominian building by Fedele himself. This claim comes as a surprise, since in 2006 the same Municipality restored large spaces on the second and third floors of the same building on the Capitoline Hill, which are still completely unused.

The reasons for this eviction, which would deprive Rome of an institution that boasts worldwide recognition and intense cultural and editorial activity, are beyond belief.

We will oppose the request in every possible way and ask for the widest possible solidarity.

Istituto storico italiano per il medioevo

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