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In May of 2012, the region of Emilia-Romagna was struck by a violent earthquake. Sixteen people died and 15,000 were displaced. Economic damage amounted to 13 billion Euros. Accompanying this catastrophe was the enormous loss of the spiritual and artistic heritage. One of these losses was Concordia sulla Secchia, a village of 8,000 people in the province of Modena. Its centuries-old Church, symbol and centre of the local community and its activities, collapsed.

When it comes to works of art, a great deal of time is required for reconstruction. What was once the centre of city life was now just an accumulation of debris. At the beginning, in order to deal with the problem, the community tried to move the church into a tent which was used for summer festivals. Later, and mostly thanks to the efforts of the Concordia parish priest, Don Franco Tonini, the machinery of solidarity began to move.

With the project designed by architect Fabio Andreatta, donations from the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Sacred Art School in Florence, the Giusto Manetti Battiloro company and other businesses, it was possible to build a new church for the community of Concordia. The provisional parish church is made of wood and designed to replace the old church until it has been completely restored. The entire facility includes a parish office, priests’ residence, six catechism classrooms, a sitting room and changing rooms for the sports field still under construction.

The tabernacle of the Blessed Sacrament, the altar of the Madonna and 14 stations of the cross were decorated thanks to the gold leaf of Giusto Manetti Battiloro. The inauguration of the new Concordia community centre took place on Sunday, November 23, 2013.

Click here for the article on Toscana Oggi

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