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Carnevale Italiano celebrates 132 years of Italian settlement


Sharlene King
12 April 2013
Carnevale Italiano, celebrating 132 years of settlement at New Italy and the contributions of the Italian community of Northern NSW, will be held at the New Italy Museum Complex on Sunday, April 14.

The celebrations will provide an opportunity to showcase outcomes from an ongoing interpretative design project by Southern Cross University artist and academic Leonie Lane.

Guest speaker will be the Italian Consul-General Sergio Martes, who will be visiting the Northern Rivers region at the weekend.

New Italy Museum Inc (NIMI) invited Ms Lane to work with the local Italian community to reinvigorate its Italian Pavilion.

Ms Lane said the collaborative project aimed to build the role, reputation and place of the Italian Pavilion as an important regional museum that holds stories of migration and settlement in rural Australia.

The project led to a recent exhibition, 'Bananas, Business and Bocce: the Lismore Italians – an interpretation of the Lismore Italians’, held at the Lismore Regional Gallery.

A number of new displays have been developed for Carnevale Italiano - a celebration of New Italy descendants and the broader Northern Rivers Italian community.

“We are expecting around 1000 people to Sunday’s event, which really celebrates the contribution the Italian community has made from the 1880s onwards,” Ms Lane said.

“From the 1920s to the 1970s there were different waves of migration, all in response to political or economic upheaval in Italy or Europe. This is a really significant Italian community in the Northern Rivers.”

Ms Lane said new key display areas within the Italian Pavilion would be featured including a redesigned entrance, audio visual display and interpreted stories.

“The Pavilion tells the story about the ongoing connections with Italy and between the cultures.”

The project was assisted by an SCU internal research grant, a CASP grant and sponsorship from local Italian family businesses.

Photo: Leonie Lane and New Italy Museum's Lester Cooke inspect the newly installed window murals at the New Italy Museum's Italian pavilion.