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Pope Francis to the MAC Foundation - Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism: Your objectives respond to a real cultural urgency for the entire Church.

"I have imagined a path that could soon lead to the birth of an institution that functions as a Central Archive for the permanent preservation, ordered according to scientific criteria, of the historical audiovisual archives of the bodies of the Holy See and of the universal Church". Thus Pope Francis in a message to the members of the MAC Foundation - Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism, gathered this morning in the first plenary session at the Vatican Library. In the message read by Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani - Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church - member of the MAC's Scientific Committee, Pope Francis welcomed the birth and the challenges of the MAC Foundation, reaffirming that "the objectives that your Foundation intends to pursue respond to a real cultural urgency for the entire Church". Archbishop Zani then recalled that "the recent Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium assigns to the Vatican Library the task “of collecting and preserving a rich heritage of science and art and of making it available to scholars in search of truth', and it is within this framework that the Foundation's activities are to be framed".

Established in March 2023, the MAC Foundation - Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism was created to respond to the cultural urgency of the recovery, preservation and valorization of the historical audiovisual heritage and of the documentary heritage connected to it, relating to Catholicism. The main fields of work are: preservation and accessibility (encouraging restoration projects, including digital restoration, digitization of archival materials, valorization of those already digitized through the provision of a common space for sharing results) and cultural, academic and educational spin-offs (creating a multipolar online environment to foster the development of new research projects, valorize existing ones; implement scientific collaborations; exchange of information, good practices and the development of specialized teaching models).

"The idea of the Foundation began to take shape in 2021 - underlines President Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò - when the Holy Father, on the occasion of an interview on cinema, reiterated once again the delay accumulated by ecclesiastical institutions for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage of the Catholic Church, in comparison with the initiatives already undertaken “by state institutions and specialized international bodies on a global level”. In that context he launched the idea of establishing the Vatican Apostolic Media Library and the MAC Foundation is in fact a first step in the direction desired by Pope Francis. Our strengths are sharing and excellence; in fact, since its establishment, MAC unites leading realities in the field of audiovisual study and preservation. We grasp the full power of digital and think we can attract public and private interest to initiate projects that foster networking between universities, research organizations, film archives and preservation institutions. We see ourselves as a bridging structure that builds bridges and networks with other realities”.

"We are working on a historical portal, a thematic digital library”, explains Gianluca della Maggiore, Director of the Catholicism and Audiovisual Studies Research Centre (CAST) of the UniNettuno International Telematic University and member of MAC's Scientific Committee, “which, through a single online access point, will allow the connection of the historical audiovisual heritage of Catholicism, today scattered in the collections of the most diverse preservation bodies. The idea is to host historical documents of various types (audiovisuals, photographs, maps, brochures, posters) on the portal, connecting the heterogeneous realities that preserve them and enhancing their heritage. A great digital archive and a portal for studies and documentation available to everyone”.

For Chiara Sbarigia, President of Cinecittà S.p.A., "the intersection of different competences, brought together in the MAC, will also make it possible to bring to light and compare materials that are disconnected from each other, and often, also for this reason, have remained unpublished. The Unione Cinematografica Educativa, translated by the acronym L.U.C.E., was founded with a mainly didactic function, a function that is still active today and is incorporated in the company Cinecittà SpA. The same “corporate” fate has been experienced by the Archivio Luce, which is registered in the “Memory of the World – Unesco” Register and which represents the historical and cultural memory of our country and is an irreplaceable documentary source for the knowledge of world history. The composite nature of the Istituto Luce and the Historical Archive, as well as our commitment to making it increasingly accessible and usable, convinced us to enthusiastically participate in the valuable project of the MAC Foundation, aimed at valorizing the documentary heritage relating to Catholicism and making it available to generations of scholars of the subject, students and even simple enthusiasts".


MAC Foundation - Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism Board of Directors

Giuliano Canella, CEO Gruppo Alì SpA; Valerio Molinari, Partner Effettivo Ecogest SpA; Giordano Riello, President Nplus srl; Alessandro Maggioni, CEO Arzanà Srl; Nicola Salvi, Administrator Communication Office; Elisabetta Sola, Administrator Communication Office; Dario E. Viganò, Vice Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences.


MAC Foundation – Audiovisual Memories of Catholicism Scientific Committee


Alberto Anile, Conservator of the Cineteca Nazionale, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia; Gian Piero Brunetta, Professor emeritus of History and Criticism of Cinema at the University of Padua; Enrico Bufalini, Director of the Archivio Storico Luce; Tommaso Caliò, President of the Italian Association for the Study of Sanctity, Cults and Hagiography (AISSCA) Paolo Cherchi Usai, Curator of the Cineteca del Friuli; Domenico De Gaetano, Director of the National Cinema Museum, Turin; Roberto De Gaetano, Professor of Cinematographic Disciplines at the Sapienza University of Rome; Gianluca della Maggiore, Director of the Research Centre Catholicism and Audiovisual Studies (CAST) UniNettuno International Telematic University; Ruggero Eugeni, Full Professor of Media Semiotics Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan; Gian Luca Farinelli, Director of the Fondazione Cineteca of Bologna; Giacomo Manzoli, President of the Consulta Universitaria del Cinema (CUC); Marta Margotti, President of the Scientific Council of Isacem-Paul VI Institute for the history of Catholic Action and the Catholic Movement in Italy; Daniele Menozzi, Professor emeritus in Contemporary History at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa; Elena Mosconi, President of the Italian Association for Film History Research (AIRSC); Matteo Pavesi, Director of the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana in Milan; Chiara Sbarigia, President of Cinecittà SpA.; Tomaso Subini, Professor of Cinema, Photography, Television and New Media University of Milan; Giovanni Vian, President of the University Council for the History of Christianity and Churches (CUSCC); Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, President of the MAC Foundation; Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.