The Antonio Pasqualino Puppet Museum
The history of the International Puppet Museum is linked to its founder, Antonio Pasqualino (1932-1995), a surgeon but also a distinguished anthropologist and lover of the history and popular traditions of Sicily. Pasqualino dedicated his research activity to the Opera dei Pupi, a theatrical form which appeared to be in decline and which narrated the events of the Paladins of France.
Pasqualino - with his wife, the Danish Marianne Vibaek - founded the Association for the Conservation of Popular Traditions by collecting and saving from oblivion stage texts, puppets, theaters and furnishings.
In addition to the research carried out starting from 1960, the operation of safeguarding and promoting Sicilian traditions manifested itself in the support for the candidacy at UNESCO of the Sicilian puppet opera, included in 2001 in the first list of "Masterpieces of the oral and immaterial of humanity ".
In June 2014 the Association was accredited as a consultant NGO to the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, becoming a privileged interlocutor of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.
Over the years, the Pasqualino collection has expanded to include materials from numerous other countries such as France, Poland, Thailand, Burma, Japan, theatrical practices some of which are recognized by Unesco "Masterpiece of the Oral Heritage and Immaterial of Humanity ".
Four thousand objects, in all, which in 1975 found accommodation in the Museum designed by Pasqualino.
Since then, a series of initiatives has begun - such as the annual Morgana Festival - and cultural exchanges with similar structures in the five continents.
The new seat of the Museum is now located inside the former Hotel de France, a building of great architectural and historical interest, in the ancient center of Palermo, near Piazza Marina.
The Museum is spread over three levels, and houses a bookshop, a library, a video library, a tape library and a room capable of hosting a substantial theatrical program.