The Etruscans’ Tuscany: the transalpine cousins vous souhaitent la bienvenue!

… Not that Tuscany bounds are usually very limited, mind you, her cultural heritage is well-known all around the world, but starting from early November the history of Tuscany and those who laid the foundations for her grandeur will be celebrated by two top showcases such as the Cinquantenaire Museum in Bruxelles and the Salon International du Patrimoine Culturel du Louvre in Paris.

Those I’m writing about lived many and many years ago (even before Christ) in that Italian territory known as Etruria and corresponding to the actualTuscanyUmbria and northern Latium: they’re the Etruscans, our ancient forefathers who gave life to the Tuscans, people who have become world-renowned throughout history.

Those of you who have got to visit Tuscany have certainly had the possibility to see, or even experience, the tracks of their passing through our region, their civilization, their habits. Many important and tourist Tuscan cities like VolterraArezzoRoselle and Populonia (just to mention a few) were originally important Etruscan centres and powerful city-states, together associated for political and economical purposes. Along the Etruscan Coast, internationally renowned for its seaside resorts mainly, there are many museums where you may admire evidences and objects of their civilization, arisen from the ground as time passed by: jewels, working tools, urns, dead monuments, terracotta pots and extraordinary beautiful works of art.

At this step of our story, I guess you’re going to ask me why are the Etruscans at Louvre and Bruxelles Museum, aren’t you? Well, as regards the Paris museum, you should already know they aren’t recently arrived guests! Those of you who have already been at Louvre will certainly have enjoyed the sight of the Sarcophagus of the Spouses and all the section dedicated to the Etruscans. But this year the annual exposition which usually takes place at the Salon International du Patrimoine Culturel du Louvre was focused on Mediterranean civilizations and Tuscany took part in the event presenting a project called “The Lands of the Etruscans”, aimed to increase the value of an ancient, but still living culture as the Etruscans’ in all Europe. And while the Louvre exposition was about Mediterranean civilizations, the Etruscans’ Tuscany is the absolute protagonist of the exhibit taking place in Bruxelles, which will be at visitors’ disposal till April 24th, 2011. Thanks to the advances in today’s technology, visitors will be able to walk along a three-dimensional tour to the discover of the Etruscans’ precious cultural heritage. For further information on this topic, visit the Regione Toscana website.

I’m going to end this virtual tour throughout the Tuscan origins with a sentence of Jacques Heurgon, a renowned French historian and Etruscans expert, since I strongly believe that nothing and no-one could better explain how important and influential the Etruscans were in Tuscan history.

“Actually it’s important noting that, for two times in the VII century b.C. and in the XV century a.C. nearly the same region of central Italy, the ancient Etruria and the modern Tuscany, was the determiner breeding ground of Italian civilization.”

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