When Togliatti, leader of the communist party arrived in Matera in
1948, he called it “national shame”. Matera, after the II world war
became one of the places most affected by the post-war crisis: inside
the traditional cave called “Sassi” the men were living together with
animals, for this reason, diseases spread and the population started
to be hit by malaria.
In 1950 prime minister Alcide De Gaspari issued the special law for
the displacement of Sassi; by requiring the population to move into
the new districts, thus favouring the emptying of the historic
districts; “Caveoso and Sasso Barisano”.
It is in these years that film production is interested in Matera as the perfect movie set. Directors such as Pasolini, Nanni Lory, Tornatore, Placido, Mel
Gibson and the colossal “Ben Hur” filmed in Matera.
In 1993 Unesco declared Matera as World Heritage Site, the city
became the first site in South Italy to receive this nomination,
Sassi became repopulated: those environments that previously aroused
discomfort to the Italians are now a symptom of renewed pride. In
2014 finally, Matera becomes “City of European Capital of Culture
Matera must be an example because this city is the exact symbol of
life: the initial difficulties, the nickname “City of Shame”, the
desire to get up; the awareness of having strength, of rebelling and
innovating by changing name in “European City of Culture 2019”