Saturday, December 27, 2014

Matera, Italy

Picture of Matera taken in 1951 by the French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. This picture, at a recent Christie's auction has the price tag of 20,000 euros on it. Matera was poor and miserable but his photos of it raised the impression of Matera that a group of locals decided to search and document all the cave churches in the area. They discovered at least 147 and most of them still has frescoes in them. Their most important find is the 'cave of hundred saints' or the 'crypt of the original sin. A lot of the frescoes were fast disappearing because of climatic conditions and a group of Germans were suspected of stripping the walls of the frescoes, it became a case for Interpol. Now Matera is protected under a UN charter being a Unesco World Heritage site. Now everyone wants to return to live in Matera when once they couldn't wait to leave. I was in Matera in 2007 after watching the movie 'the Passion of the Christ' which was filmed on location here. I'm returning on February 1st and I have a reservation to see the crypt of the original sin on February 4th.

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