A farewell to our 'Maestro'

Written by  Antonio Samaritani
The death of Adriano Franceschini is an irreparable loss for the city and its cultural development
Last December Adriano Franceschini, a member of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara and of the editorial board of this magazine since 2001, died at the age of 85.

He taught for many years in the elementary school in Porotto, where he lived all his life. Mr Franceschini was a meticulous, profound and wise historian. Self-taught, his research and impressive list of publications earned him an increasingly eminent role.
His research was informed by wide-ranging curiosity and intellectual honesty. The results were rigorously tested against documentary evidence and delivered in flowing, elegant prose.
A generous, modest and retiring man, Mr Franceschini was one of the great figures in the field of culture, receiving the title of Benemerito for his work in culture and the arts. In 2000 the Università degli Studi di Ferrara awarded him an honorary degree in letters, but he remained proudest of the title 'maestro' (teacher) which he continued to prefer to any exalted academic style. Among the works which particularly stay in the memory are the 'Frammenti Statutari della Cattedrale di Ferrara del 1173', 'Studi su Giovanni Aurispa e la sua biblioteca', 'Studi sulla biblioteca del capitolo dei Canonici di Ferrara', 'Studi sugli Artisti a Ferrara in età umanistica e rinascimentale' (3 vols) and the unpublished documents on Dosso Dossi, which challenged a critical hypothesis which had hitherto been considered unassailable.
His final nine years' research, to be published in the near future with the support of the Fondazione, provides an account of the Jewish presence in
Ferrara up to 1492 and draws on some 1300 unpublished documents.
Our thoughts are with his family in their irreparable loss.

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