The house in which the Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) lived in Sant’Agata di Vilanova near the northern Italian town of Piacenza should not be closed for ruin. The new Italian Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sanguliano, said today. “Villa Verde is fundamental to the identity of Italians and therefore must remain protected and open to the public,” the minister said.
After a long series of legal battles and family squabbles, the director of the small but crowded museum, Angiolo Carrara Verdi, the composer’s direct heir, is forced to leave the villa after a civil court decision. This ended a 20-year legal battle between the composer’s heirs. The daily La Liberta reported that yesterday was the last day the museum was opened.
The Supreme Court ruled that the inheritance of Alberto Carrara Verdi, who died in 2001 and heir to the composer, should be divided equally among his three children. However, since none of the three could take possession of the others’ shares, the villa had to be sold with the museum. The court will appoint an administrator to take care of the museum. According to the Minister of Culture, Carrara Verde hopes that the villa itself, which has the right of first refusal, will take over.
Verdi lived in the villa for 50 years, which contains many memories of the composer’s life and work. The museum ceiling is in dire need of renovation. The facade also needs repainting and the six-hectare park needs maintenance.
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