A few days ago, I went for a spritz at a local bar. The daily newspaper was on the counter, so I flipped through the pages, as I sipped my drink. The words Scuola Grande Della Misericordia caught my eyes. This former vast guildhall is now largely not accessible to the public, but wonder of wonders, there would be a showing of drawings by primary school children on Monday.
This is a view of the side of this Scuola. It is so hard to convey in photos just how big this place is!
A young man on duty on the ground floor took me upstairs to the display. There were literally hundreds of drawings which had been done by school children in Venice, Rhodes and Istanbul. Each drawing was divided into thirds, so there were contributions from each country in each drawing. The aim was to try to promote some rapport between these children from different countries.
This was an initiative of a journalist, Signora Nadia DeLazzari. The project has taken one year.
The next link in my happy chain was the appearance of this very lady, to see how the showing was going. She explained that the drawings started in Venice, were sent to Istanbul, and finished in Rhodes. So, Not all of the children got to see the completed drawings.
Here are some of the pictures. (The children showed such imagination and artistry, I was very impressed.) Signora DeLazzari is shown in this first collage.
This might give you a little idea of the scale of this building. The scaffolding is present for the restoration work which is being undertaken by S.M.V. Spa, as explained by the young security guard. It will take so long …. Fragments of faded frescoes are visible. The pavimento was removed during Napoleon’s little incursion. (That man has a lot to answer for.)
I was so happy, on many levels. First, I finally got into this Scuola. Then, I saw the inspiring drawings of the children, our future leaders. Then, I met the wonderful woman who is the driving force behind this (and other) projects.
It pays to go for a spritz!