This document, Progetto Desideri, Ricerche, pubblicazioni, iniziative varie. 1997-2008, was published by the City of Pistoia and presented at the Auditorium of the San Giorgio Library in Pistoia on Tuesday 4th March 2008. Leonardo Rombai’s presentation followed introductions from Pistoia councillor for culture Rosanna Moroni and the chairman of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia, Ivano Paci. It in turn was followed by the screening of the documentary Desideri by Massimo Prevedello, which was warmly greeted by the considerable audience. The event was mentioned in “La Nazione” on Sunday 2.3.2008 (p. XII / Agenda Pistoia: L'incontro, Lorenzo Maffucci, IIl mondo di Bargiacchi e il 'Progetto Desideri') and Tuesday 4.3.2008 (p. IX / Agenda Pistoia: giorno & notte, Alla "SanGiorgio" il progetto Desideri); in "Il Tirreno", Sunday 2.3.2008 (Desideri pioniere del dialogo religioso) and Tuesday 4.3.2008 (SanGiorgio, si parla di Desideri); in "La Vita", Sunday 4.5.2008 (article by Leonardo Soldati); in “Il Tremisse Pistoiese” (review by Alberto Cipriani). A long article also appeared in “Il Tirreno” on 12.4.2008, by Paolo Gestri (see bibliographical appendix).
Prevedello’s documentary received further attention with the publication of a book retracing the journey to make it, a journey which in turn followed in the footsteps of the Jesuit missionary’s great undertaking: Nico Bosa, Filmistan. Effetto Tibet, Vallecchi (Collana "Off the road"), Florence, 2008, pp. 352, 9.50 euro. Bosa – friend, travelling companion and assistant to the director – fills this volume with his passion for travel, his expertise in the history of explorations and his memories of an unforgettable experience in an enthralling romanticised account. For articles about the book which in 2006 won the new publications section of the Palestrina Albatros Prize for travel literature, see: full page headlining article by Laura Montanari in "La Repubblica", Sunday 16th March 2008, (Firenze, p. XI), with photographs (Il Tibet di Ippolito Desideri); article by Bosa himself in the bi-monthly "Blu. La rivista del territorio", a. 9, n. 34, April 2008, pp. 28-31 (From Crespano to Lhasa. A film and a book about two men from Bassano following the footsteps of an 18th century Jesuit). A presentation of Filmistan Effetto Tibet was held on Friday 26th September 2008 at 5.00pm in the Auditorium of the San Giorgio Library in Pistoia), organised by the Library and Vallecchi publisher’s. Talks were given by the author and also Enzo Gualtiero Bargiacchi and Umberto Cecchi, journalist, writer and director of the "Off the road" series. On this occasion a section was shown of the documentary Desideri, while Cesare Sartori read passages from the book. See articles about the presentation from 25.9.2008 in Pistoia’s daily newspapers: "Il Tirreno": Effetto Tibet alla San Giorgio; "La Nazione": Avventura nel "Paese delle Nevi" sulle tracce di Ippolito Desideri. It was also mentioned in "Corriere Fiorentino" on Friday 27.9.2008 (p. 14, Effetto Tibet).
The University faculty in Pistoia (part of the University of Florence) was entitled to Ippolito Desideri according to the new statute of the Uniser Consortium, chaired by lawyer Giuseppe Totaro. Item 5.1 of the Multiyear planning document approved by the Consortium members reads: «Our dedication of the University faculty to Fr Ippolito Desideri aims to recognise the spirit of scientific research and early cultural openness to Oriental civilisations by a great Pistoiese who is still relatively unknown. The values he embraced are typical reference points for a university institute open to reading the signs of the times and a challenging inspiration for our works».
During 2008, also due to tragic episodes in Tibet, various events were held in Pistoia at which I illustrated the importance of Desideri’s account for fundamental historical events concerning Tibet. On Saturday 3rd May at 6.00pm a meeting took place at Lo Spazio (owned by M. Pompei and A. Trippi) in Via dell'Ospizio, entitled “Where is Tibet? Dialogue on problematic freedom”, introduced by Valentino Durante. I myself took part in this meeting with historian Giorgio Petracchi (University of Udine), economict Andrea Paci (University of Florence), poet Roberto Carifi and Tiziana Losa, nun of the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Pomaia.
On Wednesday 3rd September 2008 I took part in a meeting at Masotti (Serravalle Pistoiese) during the provincial celebration of the Democratic Party (Spazio dibattiti). The meeting was entitled “Tibet, yesterday, today, tomorrow ...” and was introduced by Roberto Fagioli, with talks by Bert D'Arragon (chairman Vasubandhu Association), parish priest don Franco Monticelli and Member of Parliament Matteo Mecacci (chairman of interparliamentary Pro-Tibet group).
On 3rd May 2008 at 3.30pm (the same day as the event recorded earlier) I took part in a presentation of travels in Tibet at the Sindacato Pensionati (CGIL Pistoia) with slides by Leonardo Bugiani and a screening of the documentary Desideri by Prevedello. In the same venue (Via Puccini 68) on 17th May during the “Un Viaggio in Tibet” cycle by Mina Barbato for Coordinamento donne of SPI-CGIL Pistoia, I held a lecture entitled “From Pistoia to Lhasa. An extraordinary journey three centuries ago which can still teach us so much today”. The lecture was mentioned on the same day in "La Nazione" (Il Tibet raccontato da Enzo Bargiacchi) and "Il Tirreno" (Conferenza sul Tibet); as well as in "La Vita", a. 111, n. 22, Sunday 1.6.2008 (Leonardo Soldati, Il Tibet raccontato da Bargiacchi).
The attention focused on Desideri contributed towards reawakening interest in the noble figure of Filippo De Filippi, who brought the Pistoiese missionary to the attention of the international specialist community. I put forward the need to acknowledge the value of the figure and works of this explorer to leading national institutions and publicly mentioned it during the above-mentioned event on “Italian Travellers in Tibet”, held on 18.01.2005 in Strozzi Palace in Florence, organised by the Gabinetto Vieusseux (Programma Vieusseux-Asia) and the Società di Studi Geografici, first resulting in the Conference La "Dimora delle nevi" e le carte ritrovate. Filippo De Filippi e le spedizioni scientifiche italiane in Asia centrale (1909 e 1913-14), organized by the Società di Studi Geografici, S.S.G. (13-14 March 2008 Florence, Palazzo Nonfinito. Via del Proconsolo12), and with an exhibition, held from 14th-24th March, organised by Leonardo Rombai in the Palazzo Pazzi Ammannati (Borgo Albizi 28, Florence). On this occasions I was the co-speaker, with Leonardo Rombai, on "Filippo De Filippi" and speaker on "In Asia centrale dopo De Filippi: Giuseppe Tucci" (both on 13.3.2008). The conference was opened by chairman of the S.S.G., Carlo Da Pozzo, and welcomed greetings from Augusto Marinelli (dean of Florence University), Pia Passigli De Filippi and Alvise Passigli (Filippo De Filippi’s heirs), Maurizio Bossi (Gabinetto Vieusseux), Carlo Colella (General, Commander of Istituto Geografico Militare, I.G.M.), Annibale Salsa (chairman Club Alpino Italiano, C.A.I.), Claudio Smiraglia (chairman Italian Glaciological Committee), Giorgio Vassena (chairman Central Scientific Commettee of C.A.I.), and Sergio Zucchetti (director IMONT); these were followed by papers from: Giacomo Corna Pellegrini (University of Milan), Annibale Salsa (chairman C.A.I.), Franco Farinelli (University of Bologna), Angelica Sella (Sella Foundation, Biella), Andrea Cantile (I.G.M.), Francesco Surdich (University of Genoa), Mattia Sella (Central Scientific Commettee of C.A.I.), Enzo G. Bargiacchi (IsIAO), Nico Mastropietro (Gabinetto Vieusseux), Luisa Rossi, Massimo Mazzoni (University of Florence), Leonardo Rombai (University of Florence) and Enzo G. Bargiacchi, Maria Mancini (S.G.I.), Laura Cassi and Margherita Azzari (University of Florence), Pierpaolo Faggi (University of Padua), Claudio Smiraglia (chairman Italian Glaciological Committee), Gianni Tartari (Ev-K2-CNR Committee), and Giampietro Verza (Ev-K2-CNR Committee). The conference continued with a workshop on the conservation and promotion of scientific heritage, introduced and coordinated by Maria Mautone (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, C.N.R.), with talks by: Zeffiro Ciuffoletti (University of Florence), Bruno Vecchio (University of Florence), Massimo Diaco (IMONT Research sector), Chiara Silla (Regione Toscana), Emanuela Sesti (Alinari Brothers Foundation for the history of photography), Fausto Barbagli (Natural History Museum, Florence), Cosimo Chiarelli (Gabinetto Vieusseux). Conclusive remarks by Maria Tinacci (University of Florence).
Regarding De Filippi’s exploration activities, Massimo Mazzoni and Stefano Anastasio have organised an exhibition in Siena entitled “When the Himalayas were further than the stars. Scientific expeditions from other times.”. A cycle of conferences took place around the exhibition (13th Feb-30 June 2008) at the Accademia dei Fisiocritici (piazzetta Silvio Gigli, 2 - Prato S. Agostino), chaired by Sara Ferri. In this context on Wednesday 16th April 2008 I discussed “De Filippi and the exploration of Asia Major: a long adventurous story”, about the great explorer’s relationships with his predecessors (mainly Desideri, in promotion of work to which he dedicated his greatest energy in his final years) and with Giuseppe Tucci, who completed an exploration of Tibet, especially in terms of history, art and philosophical-religious thought. The lecture was mentioned in the Siena section of "La Nazione" (Tuesday 15.4.2008, p. XV / Agenda Siena, Fisiocritici, mostra sull'Himalaya) and the "Corriere di Siena" (Wednesday 16.4.2008, p.25 / Block notes), and the Pistoia sections of "La Nazione" (Tuesday 15.4.2008, p. XV / Agenda Pistoia, L'esplorazione dell'Alta Asia). I also held a lecture on Tucci in Rome on Tuesday 25th November 2008 at the Angolo dell'Avventura (Adventure's Corner) of "Avventure nel Mondo" ("Giuseppe Tucci and exploration of Tibet").
DESIDERI Project: D.PROJ.01Foreword, D.PROJ.02Researches, D.PROJ.03Beginning, D.PROJ.04Rel.History, D.PROJ.05Lect.2004-6, D.PROJ.06Art.2004-6, D.PROJ.07D.Biography2006, D.PROJ.08D.Bibl., D.PROJ.09Ev.2007, D.PROJ.10Ev.2008, D.PROJ.11Atlanta2008, D.PROJ.98Development, D.PROJ.99Bibl.App.