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Over a century after their construction, the pair of Alfani seismographs returns to Foligno to show themselves to the public after a complex and delicate restoration operation entrusted to the INGV laboratories

Saturday 13 April, at 11 am, in the Lodovico Jacobilli Library in Foligno (PG), will be held oninauguration of the renewed installation of Alfani seismographs, a pair of instruments built in 1915 by Scolopio Father Guido Alfani, at the time Director ofXimenian Observatory of Florence, based on his original project.
The request for the construction of the two seismographs came from Monsignor Giuseppe della Vedova, the then Director ofGeodynamic Observatory and the Seminario Maggiore of Foligno, in the emotional wake of great earthquake which on January 13 of the same year had shaken the Marsica and following which Alfani himself was preparing to hold numerous conferences in various cities in Italy, including Foligno.
Over the years some pieces of the two instruments were lost but, in the second half of the 900th century, a young man Paolo Maffei - who would become one of the greatest Italian astrophysicists - contributed to the recovery of the pair of Alfani horizontal pendulums that survived the bombing that hit Foligno in November 1943.
In 2011 the Maffei family, interpreting the will of Paolo, now deceased, entrusted what remained of the instrumentation to Restoration Laboratory of Historical Scientific Instrumentation of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).
The INGV experts carried out a conservative and integrative restoration: this last part of the work, to which the mechanical workshop of the INGV headquarters in Rome contributed, proved to be particularly delicate and complex since the Alfani seismographs are today the only surviving specimens in this configuration.
After the inauguration of the installation, the public will be able to take advantage of a guided tour during which the history and functioning of the instruments will be illustrated. Visits will resume in the afternoon, from 15pm to 30pm.
The event is part of the initiatives planned in Foligno, from 11 to 14 April, for the XIII edition of the Science and Philosophy Festival - Virtute and Canoscenza, which this year will see scientists, philosophers and enthusiasts discussing the topic “The Mediterranean: from the cradle of Science and Philosophy to a scenario for the challenges of change”.
INGV, scientific partner of the event, will be present with a seminar entitled “The Mediterranean: what a geological history!”.
More information on the event website.

Download the poster of “The return of the Alfani Seismographs” here.

Useful links:
National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV)
Lodovico Jacobilli Library
Ximenian Observatory Foundation
Science and Philosophy Festival - Virtute and Canoscenza
Photo1 FotoStoricaSismografoAlfaniFolignoPhoto 1: One of the Seismographs in the original installation in a historical photo before the 1943 bombing.   Photo2 PiecesAlfaniFolignoPreRestauroPhoto 2: The parts of the Alfani Seismographs in the courtyard of the Casa Maffei at the time of delivery for restoration.   Photo3 SeismografiAlfaniOggiPhoto 3: The Alfani seismographs restored in the new museum installation.