We received the following Press Release from the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History:
The Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History held its first Scientific Conference on 14 and 15 July 2023 at the splendid Hall of Honour of the Mercantile Palace and Museum of the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano; brilliant coordinator of the event was Dr. Elisabetta Carnielli of the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano.
The President of the Federation of the Italian Philatelic Societies Dr. Bruno Crevato Selvaggi who at the end of the event sent a very cordial message of congratulations as follows: “Dear friends, back from two days in Bolzano, a bit warm but very pleasant (lively city, culturally very special, architecturally pleasant: in short, I enjoy it), I want to congratulate Thomas and thank him, together with the participants (I ask Thomas to extend this to Dr. Carnielli) for organizing the event, for its program and for all the side activities: from great meals to the excursion on Sunday.
It seems to me that, in addition to press production, cultural meetings and moments of conviviality are the salt of an organization like ours: I therefore applaud the initiative, I hope to participate in the next and all ahead! Bruno.”
Likewise, Dr. Elisabetta Carnielli of the Bolzano Chamber of Commerce sent a congratulatory email: “Dear colleagues, it is I who thank you. It was a beautiful initiative, very enriching. Thanks to Dr. Crevato-Selvaggi for the compliments. Thanks to Thomas for the organization and the involvement of great experts. The success of the conference goes to him. Last but not least, thanks to Dr. Migliavacca, again for his collaboration in the drafting of the article for the official Volume of the exhibition and the spreading of the news relating to the First Scientific Congress and the Museum exhibition (even overseas), for having acted as a liaison and keeping me updated. Best regards – Elisabetta Carnielli”.
Among the highlights of the Conference was a visit to the Mercantile Palace which hosts, among other things, a large “surprise” for visitors interested in postal history: the Menz Archive of 250,000 letters. Already in the 18th century the Menz family was divided into three branches of descent, among which the best known is the Sarnthein-Menz line with the so-called “French bride” Annette von Menz and the commercial house “G. Menz”. The collateral line founded by Dominicus Maria von Menz in the second half of the 18th century was equally successful, though less well-known. In the 19th century Peter Paul von Menz and Adolph von Menz, Dominicus’s son and grandson respectively, ran a lucrative business in Bolzano.
The Mercantile Museum of Bolzano, housed in the Mercantile Palace, is located in the heart of the ancient commercial settlement, between Via Argentieri and Via dei Portici. The eighteenth-century building, designed by the Veronese architect Francesco Perotti, hosted for more than a century the Mercantile Magistrate, a special commercial court established in 1635 by the Archduchess of Austria Claudia de’ Medici, called to settle the disputes that arose among merchants during the international fairs of Bolzano. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the tasks and competences of the Mercantile Magistrate passed to the newly constituted Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano, which, aware of the historical and architectural value of the building, undertook constant maintenance and renovation work until 1997 when the doors were officially opened to the public.
LIST OF LECTURERS
Welcome remarks: Dr. Elisabetta Carnielli
Prof. Helmut Rizzolli: the exhibition “Pandemics and Commerce”
Dr. Thomas Matha’ – President of the Academy: Introduction to the Scientific Congress
Prof. Francesca Brunet: some aspects of the postal materiality
Dr. Rocco Cassandri and Dr. Martino Laurenzi: the control of pandemics between Medicine and Postal Service
Dr. Federico Pigozzo: Between Venice and Europe – the prevention of contagion in Verona from Middle Age to modern age
Dr. Giorgio Migliavacca, Vice-president of the Academy: When scholars delve into the effects of pandemics on postal communications
Dr. Alberto Caroli, President of the Association of Studies of Tuscany’s Postal History (ASPOT): Tuscany, Corsica and Liguria: Postal Health during the Napoleonic era
CAPTION: part of the speakers of the First Conference of the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History – (from left to right): Dr. Giorgio Migliavacca Vice-president of the Academy, Dr. Rocco Cassandri, Dr. Federico Pigozzo, Dr. Martino Laurenzi, Dott. Emilio Simonazzi, Prof. Francesca Brunet, Dr. Alberto Caroli, and Dr. Thomas Matha’ President of the Academy.