The catalogue of the exhibition entitled “The World That Never Was” describes and recounts the history of the more than 230 pre-Columbian objects that will be shown in the Florence archaeological museum from 19 September 2015 to 6 March 2016. Published by “5 Continents Editions” (Milan), the book - which contains the work of fifteen authors in 362 pages - is a new and stimulating contribution for getting to know the evidence of that part of humanity that was to appear in Europe after the voyages of Columbus and other explorers.
The catalogue illustrates Giancarlo and Inti Ligabue’s pre-Columbian art collection, one of the few private Italian collections, and tells the story of some rare objects - loans from Florentine museums - from the Medici Collections, one of the biggest treasures in Europe. For example, two (Atlat) propellers covered in gold leaf, Aztec culture, a fourteenth-fifteenth century Taino necklace and tray and the famous Téotihuacan stone mask. Precious finds from private European collections also appear alongside these objects.
The exhibition catalogue contains essays and documents by the exhibition curator Jacques Blazy, international expert on pre-Columbian art, and André Delpuech, chief heritage curator and director of the American Collections heritage unit at the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, chairman of the scientific committee. The authors of the essays are scholars, historians and archaeologists, including Christine Philips, Claude-François Baudez, Nicolas Latsanopoulos, Nathalie Ragot, Sylvie Peperstraete, Ted J.J. Leyenaar, Jean-Michel Hoppan, Davide Domenici, Claudio Cavatrunci, Mario Polia, Jean-François Bouchard, Federico Kauffmann Doig and Patrick Plumet.
The Giancarlo and Inti Ligabue Collection of archaeological masterpieces from the ancient cultures of Latin America is part of a vast collection of thousands of pieces that have been selected over almost fifty years of activity. The catalogue is edited by Adriano Favaro, for years editor of the cultural section of the “Il Gazzettino” newspaper, and editor of the “Ligabue Magazine”.
Particular attention has been focused on the graphic presentation: elegant and careful page design; high quality photos, with exciting enlargements that allow an absolutely new reading of the objects; quality printing, in particular the five colour cover with gold leaf and deep glossy varnish.