Italian head of state Sergio Mattarella has intervened in a dispute over plans to drastically alter one of Gubbio’s landmarks, Loggia dei Tiratori, among the best known in Umbria.
Covered with a terracotta roof on stone columns, the Loggia dei Tiratori is an impressive passageway built in the early 17th century by wool merchants as a space for drying cloth.
A year ago, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia bank purchased the loggia, announcing plans to turn it into an all-season events location, enclosing it with glass and installing air conditioning.
The bank’s plans have been greenlit by the town council and local department of culture and heritage, but local residents are fighting the decision, sending Mattarella a petition with more than 1,000 signatures.
Mattarella replied through a letter written by heritage adviser Louis Godart: ‘To enclose this wonderful monument in glass would be to harm and disfigure it.’
Heritage association Italia Nostra commented, ‘What makes the proposal unacceptable is the introduction of elements that are incompatible with the structure of the loggia, a very rare example of preindustrial architecture.’