Museo Ex-libris Mediterraneo


Genesis and development


The Museum “Ex Libris Mediterraneo” (Mediterranean bookplate museum), located in the group of monumental buildings Sant’Anna, in Ortona (a coastal town on the Adriatic at the level of Rome),  was opened on 28th December 2004.

This event is to be considered both as a starting point and as a goal. The first contact between Ortona and ex-libris dates back to 1991 when the “1st Bookplate Biennial Italy-Austria” took place.


The cultural association Progetti Farnesiani and its President Carlo Sanvitale entrusted the organisation of the event to Antonio Grimaldi, artist, and Remo Palmirani, ex libris scholar and historian. Until 1997,  four Biennials had taken place, as well as other exhibitions dedicated to specific themes or famous creators, such as “Ex-libris and bibliophiles”, “Ex-libris by Emil Orlik”, “Ex-libris by Oriol Maria Divì” and the competition “Ex-musicis, Lutes from Southern Italy”.


Meanwhile, cooperation with Remo Palmirani had significantly increased and he had become art director of the manifestations. Since 1999 programmes had been characterised by a choice of themes such as: national schools (Ukrainian, Japanese, Italian and German); regional Italian schools (Liguria, Piedmont, Sicily and the Friul); great authors (Albìn Brunovský, Bruno Missieri, Walter Valentini); thematic ex libris (art bookplates, ex-libris relating to glass, masonic ex-libris, erotic bookplates). Some of the exhibitions took place both at the Palazzo Farnese in Ortona and at the Rocca Sforzesca in Soncino (Cremona), thanks to the cooperation brought about by Remo Palmirani between Progetti Farnesiani and the municipal administration in Soncino. Many other exhibitions were held in cooperation with the Galleria San Bernardo in Genoa, with the Artists' club of Torino, the Public Library of Trieste, the school of fine arts of Trieste, the school of fine arts of Bologna and the 'Regina di Quadri' in Modica.


Among the various publications edited by Progetti Farnesiani on occasion of the different exhibitions, the magazine UTZ was published for the first time in 2001. It was a journal about literature and bibliophile books, founded by its chief editor, Remo Palmirani. Nine issues were printeded and they will certainly remain as landmarks because of their rich cultural content, refined themes and patient research into singular and totally original materials (bookplates, papers, letters, drawings, engravings, etc.).


With the passing of time, one exhibition after the other, Palmirani and Sanvitale thought of the idea of creating a museum as a logical consequence of the work they had achieved until then. Finally, nearly a year ago, they were able to move from a temporary, though prestigious exhibition place (Palazzo Farnese), to a permanent one, a real museum.



Remo Palmirani died on July 20 2005. As art director of the Museum, he left clear guidelines of a programme which will be developed in the future with contemporary, historical and thematic exhibitions, with engraving and press demo labs aimed in particular at schools, and the organisations of seminars and meetings. The museum holds an ex libris collection, the original bulk of which is a donation by Remo Palmirani.

Cristiano Beccaletto, well known for his long experience as an artistic, organiser and editor, will be Remo Palmirani’s successor as art director of the museum. He will be responsible for the organisation of activities and for public relations with national associations belonging to FISAE and with museums.


As from October 31st, the following are already effective:

Secretariat’s e-mail address;

Director’s e-mail address

From 30th November the museum web site  will be active.


The Museum’s Board of Directors has decided the following:


a) A study centre, “Centro Studi Remo Palmirani” was opened on 15th Oct. at the Museum.


b) Two new annual prizes, The Remo Palmirani artist's award and The Remo Palmirani scholar's award, have been created in cooperation with journal “Ex Libris” edited by G. Mirabella, and  with sponsorship by AIE and by the Italo Zetti Foundation. Regulations will follow as soon as possible.


c) In the next few months, a publication entitled “Per ricordare Utz” (To remember Utz) will be printed and distributed. Format and graphic will be similar to the original Utz, in memory of its Director Remo Palmirani.



President of the Museum Ex Libris Mediterraneo

Professor Barbara Verì