Eubea, terra promessa: Luigi Pernier e la ricerca di uno scavi fuori di Creta
Vincenzo La Rosa Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente LXXXVII (2009) : 79-90.
This is a small chapter in the one-hundred-year history of School, which is linked with the faltering steps at the beginning and which gives us food for thought of ‘political’ type. The newly-appointed director L. Pernier arrives in Athens in November 1909 and already between late 1909 and 1910 the Ambassador of Italy in Athens, Marquis Carlotti di Ripabella, who was particularly interested in archaeology, tried to cut him off from his Cretan root. Beyond his personal bent for archaeology, Marquis Carlotti was especially interested, for reasons of national pride and prestige, in ensuring that the newly-founded School, like its existing counterparts, was a field of activity in Greece (with which Crete had not yet been united). Between late April and early May, Pernier travelled together with the diplomat to northern Euboea, even though F. Halbherr (who had been informed of the venture) had tried to persuade him otherwise. The Head of the Cretan Mission was indeed exerting considerable pressure to open of new fronts on the island, proposing to the Director of the School new surface surveys and excavations. Due to the School’s official participation in projects in Crete and the very tight funding available, the foray into Euboea was not followed up. But the prospect of the School’s involvement there was not forgotten entirely. Just three years later (in Spring 1914), Pernier was able to organize a second expedition, this time with the participation of two students at the School, G. Oliviero and B. Pace. It is possible that the final abandonment of the project coincided with Pernier’s aim of returning to Italy: the death in October 1914 of L.A. Milani, Inspector of Antiquities and Professor of Archaeology in Florence, truly opened the way to succession for the Director of the School. When, in May 1924, the new Director, A. Delia Seta, decided to venture to Euboea again for one of his many archaeological explorations, he chose the southern part of the island: the chapter of the Italian presence in Euboea was to close once and for all at this point.