Memory Bridge

The 1976 disaster made the people of Seveso more aware of environmental issues; the outcome was the reclamation of the polluted areas and the exploitation for public use of better quality land such as Fosso del Ronchetto, the Groane Park, the Bosco del Biulè (Biulè Woods), and the historical villas of the area. In 2000 the Councils of Seveso, Meda, Cesano Maderno and Desio started the Local Agenda 21 process for sustainable development. In 2001 the “Laura Conti” Seveso Branch of Legambiente with Fondazione Lombardia per l’Ambiente and the Council of Seveso began the historical-scientific research project called “The Memory Bridge.” Its purpose was to reconstruct the chain of events of the disaster of 10 July 1976.

All documentation produced by the committees which sprang up spontaneously in that period, was collected, studied and filed; it is now part of the public archives and is freely accessible. In 2003 the Corriere della Sera Foundation also took part in the project, producing “Seveso. Memorie da sotto il bosco” (Memorial from the Underwood) a book plus a DVD bundle published in 2006 and containing all the articles regarding the event published by the Corriere della Sera and other daily RCS papers from July 1976 to December 2003. The DVD also contains the documentary film “Seveso 10 luglio 1976: una storia da raccontare” (A story to tell) by Fabio Tosetto, which was presented in the competition at Cinemambiente 2006, the international environmental film festival held in Turin. The experience of Seveso started a new phase in policy making which controls by rule of law, all sources of pollution so as to ensure the safety of the local population. In fact, three European Community directives concerning control of industrial risks are called “Seveso Directives.”
That is how Seveso has become a worldwide symbol of environmental protection.

The Archive created in the course of the Project, comprised material relating to the Seveso incident and is divided into the follow sections
– Documents: besides the partial collection of the official deeds of the Municipalities, Province and Region include the documents preserved and donated by the citizens of Seveso, and which are related to the committees and spontaneous groups formed after the incident of 10 July 1976.
– Press reviews of newspaper articles: press reviews of articles on Seveso, published in various newspapers (national and local) and magazines, from 1976 up to the present.
– Photo albums: the collection covers about 100 photographs, gathered mostly by the Corriere della Sera Archive. 
Some were later gathered from Foto Vismara and the complete archive was donated by Foto Volpi which at that time worked with the Special Office of Seveso.
– Audio material: the Archive has a collection of CD-ROMs with the recordings of the RSI broadcasts.
– DVDs: the Archive contains the DVD “Seveso: il Corriere della Sera racconta la storia 17 luglio 1976- 31 dicembre 2003″ containing over 2,100 articles on Seveso, published on Corriere della Sera, L´Occhio e Corriere d´Informazione. The DVD was achieved in partnership with the Corriere della Sera Foundation.
– Videos: a specific section of the archive gathered videos and films shot between 1976 and 2004.
Among these is a documentary directed by Fabio Tosetto, that recounts the vicissitudes of Seveso through images gathered between past and present. A chart presenting the incident is followed by three chapters dedicated respectively to interviews with the population, films achieved at the time of the incident and the City of Seveso today. The sound track was curated by Saul Beretta of the Musicamorfosi band.
– Oral depositions: these deal with some audiocassette recordings of the impressions of the Seveso citizens, mayors, youth of the region, former labourers of the ICMESA, and shareholders of the Legambiente Circle.