Written by  Alfredo Santini
At first sight, this issue of Ferrara. Voci di una città might appear like a motley collection of cultural issues concerning the city and the province; in reality however the articles are linked by a common theme that attempts to harmonize culture and economics, history and current affairs, art and literature.

Luciano Chiappini's article on Eleanor of Aragon; Patrizio Bianchi's piece on deindustrialization and Andrea Gandini's on social transformations in the province over the last half century; Mario Soldati's rapport with the city and the role played by the town in the literary imagination of the Twentieth century; recollections of the Ferrara that is no more, as revealed by the words of Ettore Delia Giovanna or the camera of Paolo Monti, all comply with the necessity for unity perceived in Ferrara, in its past, but also in its present, brought together in Magri's article on art restoration.

Other articles represent the pursuit of the cultural policy the Fondazione is trying to promote and support, also through the allotment of funds to be decided in the next budget estimates. Ours is a policy that assigns the resources earmarked for art and culture as part of a coherent attempt to respond to the proposals put forward by cultural associations and institutions, proposals supported not only to enhance the city's image but also to enable a scientific analysis of the sumptuous tapestry that is its history.

Within the scope of this policy, Ferrara is putting itself forward as a reference point for the whole country: for both Fondazione and Cassa the Restauro '97 exhibition has represented an exceptional show-case within which to present their activities as well as an opportunity to engage in a useful exchange of ideas.
But it was also important to let the country - and not just the individual local bodies - know more about the role played by the Fondazione and the Cassa, a role they will be able to play even better if they are supplied with the normative instruments required so that they can act as links between the public sector and the large number of active and thoughtful voluntary associations.

Two things are required to do this: an intensive campaign of information on the part of the Association of Italian Savings Banks and a meeting place for the repre-sentatives of the various sectors in which we operate, and all within the larger framework of the economic and cultural development of the various local structures. We in Ferrara have offered to provide a national base for an annual encounter concerned with the artistic heritage. It is our belief that the articles published here by our chairmen, Silvio Carletti and Giovanni Bertoni, represent an eloquent visiting card in this regard.