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Saint Augustine's De Civitate Dei at the Italian embassy

From January 2020 the Embassy of Italy in London was extraordinarily privileged to enjoy a six-month loan of De Civitate Dei, the third-oldest incunable produced in Italy. It was printed at the Saint Scholastica monastery in Subiaco in 1467 and had never before been taken out of the library there. It was based on the original manuscript, which is also still held at the library. The incunable was loaned by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with the consent of the library's directors.

The book was presented to the public at an event at the embassy, which included an address by Don Arturo (Fabrizio) Messina Cicchetti, director of the state library of the national monument of Saint Scholastica.

Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta said: "Given its age and importance, the De Civitate Dei held in Subiaco has inestimable historic and cultural value. Its arrival in London is the result of extremely high-level cultural diplomacy. We have integrated it into our Art2Business series of events, where we present examples of Italian art and culture that have had significant economic and social impact. I am honoured that the embassy is exhibiting one of the oldest products of the Italian art of books, a tangible example of the launch of the prototype of the knowledge economy that was launched with the introduction and dissemination of the art of printing. We are grateful to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for the loan of this prestigious volume and to the state library of Saint Scholastica for its generosity and farsighted enthusiasm."

See on the right an Italian television report on the event.