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Sant’Eligio degli Argentieri: dialoghi sul destino di un rudere


In meetings between the silversmiths Pietro Accardi and Silvano Barraja with Luciana Macaluso, professor of architectural design, the events that reduced the church of San Eligio in Palermo to ruins were retraced and a different destiny for the monument has been envisioned. The church was built by the silversmith confraternity in 1650 and dedicated to their patron saint, a silversmith of French origins. The earthquake of 15 January 1940 damaged the structure and, three years later, a bomb destroyed the roof of the main body. During the 1950s, the shops in the square of the same name multiplied to the point of occupying part of the church. The subsequent decline in craft activities and the gradual decay of the ruins led to a state of abandonment opposed with passion and tireless work by the “Festa di Sant’Eligio” Committee, of which Accardi and Barraja are members. As part of the discussion on the future of the church, the projects drawn up as part of an architectural design workshop were the starting point for a debate on the interpretation of the remains as fragments in the public space of the square or as parts to completely rebuild the lost volume where and how it was.