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Gualchiere: Michael Carrington’s vision becomes reality

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

11 years after Colonel Michael Carrington launched the agreement for the restoration and enhancement of the Gualchiere di Remole Fulling Mill, the Municipality of Florence has approved the recovery program.

Michael Carrington (center) speaks with the last inhabitants of the Remole Gualchiere (July 2009).

September 2020. The Municipality of Florence has approved a resolution for the first investment of €600,000 for the restoration of the roofs and attics. The councilor for public works of the Municipality of Florence Alessia Bettini explains that “this is a particularly important project because it concerns an asset of historical and cultural value and will result not only in safety measures and conservative restoration but also in an important remediation of a degraded situation."

The municipal offices have planned the restoration project in two lots: the first relates to the restoration of roofs and floors; the second consists in the reconstruction of the walls and facades including the reconstruction of the collapsed areas.

The agreement between the Environmental Management of the Municipality of Florence and the Consortium of Reclamation, was renewed at the beginning of this year for a two-year period (2020-2021). This agreement was for a series of interventions such as the regular maintenance of the riverbed, and of the quays for the 440 meter stretch of the Gora di Remole, to be carried out by the Consortium on behalf of the Municipality; a constant annual maintenance program for the complex (including mowing of the herbaceous and shrub vegetation, selective cutting of trees, removal of any other obstacle to the correct flow of water) and the start of a design activity entrusted by the Consortium of Reclamation to a landscape architect (Andrea Meli - Inland study) and aimed at increasing public knowledge and utilizing the use of the place. The activities of the technical group also include the coordination of further public actions, starting with those concerning the river course and its maintenance.

Signature of the declaration of intent for the restoration of the Gualchiere in September 2009.

In September 2009, following the International Conference on Traditional Knowledge and Living Heritage, a declaration of intent was signed between the municipality of Florence, the municipality of Bagno a Ripoli, the Province of Florence, the Maria Nobrega Foundation and IPOGEA for the restoration and enhancement of the Gualchiere of Remole. The agreement inspired by Michael Carrington, Director General of the Maria Nobrega Foundation, committed the participants to the recovery of this important monument. That process carried out through the assemblies at the “Vie Nuove” Club and the commitment of H.R.H. Prince of Wales has now come to fruition.

In July 2009, on the occasion of the conference coordinated by Pietro Laureano, Director of Ipogea, and Michael Carrington, Director of the Maria Nobrega Foundation, a visit to the complex was carried out together with Dario Nardella, Deputy Mayor of Florence and Luciano Bartolini, Mayor of Bagno a Ripoli of the Gualchiere of Remole. The conference was attended by: Vandana Shiva, President of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture in India, Paul Polak, Trustee of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Larry Mays, Arizona State University, Iwao Kobori, United Nations University, Guillermo Avanzini Pinto, National Institute of Natural Resources, Peru, Francesco Bandarin, Director General of UNESCO and Mounir Bouchenaki, General Director of the International Center for the Study of Preservation and Restorationof Cultural Property. On that occasion, Colonel Michael Carrington launched the vision of achieving a recovery of the Gualchiere as an International Center of Traditional Knowledge.

For further information about the Gualchiere di Remole Fulling Mill please click here.


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