The treasures of the Luserna stone from 13 March to Magmax
The temporary exhibition opens on Saturday in the new spaces of the Library-Laboratory
We have always walked on it, but without having an idea of what wonders it contains: there is so much to discover about the Luserna stone.
An opportunity to learn more will be provided by the temporary exhibition that will begin Sunday 13 March at Magmax in corso Alfieri 360 and which will also mark the opening of the new spaces, in the Quartero Tower, destined to become a Library-Laboratory by the summer.
The title of the exhibition, “The Table of Minerals of Luserna”, is the same as the book that the curators Massimo Umberto Tomalino, creator of Magmax, and Bruno Marello, photographer and researcher from Asti, will present in April.
For now they celebrate the gneiss (metamorphic rock), extracted in the quarries of the Pellice Valley, revealing unknown aspects and a long history.
“From the times of the ancient Romans – explains Tomalino – the stone of Luserna was used as a material for covering roofs and subsequently, from the Middle Ages to the present day, to pave sidewalks and adorn internal stairs thanks to its valuable physical properties and pleasant bluish-gray appearance. Despite some timid nineteenth-century geological studies, it certainly could not be imagined that this hard and compact rock could act as a casket for 118 different mineralogical species, often very colorful and wonderfully crystallized “.
What the gneiss holds can be seen at Magmax in the samples collected by Marello, in fifteen years of passionate research in Valle Pellice, and in his photographs that fix the smallest and most precious detail enlarged under a microscope.
The 118 species are illustrated and described in the book that Marello and Tomalino sign with a non-accidental title, “The Table of Minerals of Luserna”: it evokes the 118 elements of the Periodic Table, in humble but straightforward analogy with the importance of discovery and scientific representativeness.
During the exhibition the two authors will be present to provide the public with scientific insights and curiosities.
The exhibition will remain open until May 15 and can be visited every day by reservation, with a maximum number of ten people at a time. Admission is free and can be extended to the hall of the Astense Museum of Geology, Mineralogy, Mining Art, Crystallography where, until 25 June, the temporary exhibition ‘I Signori de Lavoisier’ will operate.
In the photos: Bruno Marello, on the left, and Massimo Umberto Tomalino with some samples of Luserna stone; a glimpse of the exhibition under construction at Magmax
Asti, 5 March 2022