The Hall of Forty (Sala dei Quaranta) in Palazzo Bo is a symbol of the University of Padua’s commitment to freedom in the exchange and dissemination of culture. The room takes its name from the forty canvases of illustrious international scholars from across Europe who studied in Padua and whose portraits now adorn its walls. The historic room also houses the legendary Cattedra di Galileo (Galilei’s podium) and seven historical labari (banners) that represent different academic faculties during institutional ceremonies.
The year 2022 is the year we celebrate 800 years of history. As such, the University took the opportunity to enhance its distinguished legacy by highlighting its role in disseminating knowledge and its international vocation. The historical and artistic restoration project that enhances the Sala dei Quaranta was a major project dedicated to the University’s 800 Anniversary.
The funds raised on behalf of the Sala dei Quaranta restoration project made it possible to restore each canvas and banner. At the end of October 2020, the University set up a restoration laboratory inside the Aula di Lettere of Palazzo Bo where the restoration work of the first 14 canvases began. The restoration project concluded at the end of September 2021, thanks to the generous support of individuals, companies, professional associations, clubs, professors, embassies, and consulates. The Fundraising Office of the University’s Communication and Marketing Area launched a campaign that raised over 190,000€ and made it possible to renovate each canvas and finance the restoration of the banners.
On Wednesday, September 29, the University unveiled two donor walls in the Archivio Antico in Palazzo Bo displaying the names of those who contributed the canvas and banner restorations. The donor walls give recognition of the University of Padua’s appreciation for their generous contributions and faith in the achieved restoration work.
The then University of Padua Rector, Rosario Rizzuto offered the institutional greeting during the unveiling ceremony. A list of welcomed guests each offered a brief statement. Including; the Director of ALES Art Work and Services S.p.A and in-house company of the Italian Ministry of Culture Carolina Botti; the Director General of the University of Padua Alberto Scuttari; the Deputy Rector for Artistic Heritage, Museums and Libraries of the University of Padua Giovanna Valenzano; the Veneto Regional Director of Cultural Museums Marta Boscolo Marchi; the Technical Director of AR Arte e Restauro Cristina Sanganti, and Anna Passarella from Passarella Restauri.