Suspended City: L'Aquila After the Earthquake of 2009


On April 6, 2009, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the medieval city of L’Aquila in central Italy. Three hundred people lost their lives and 70,000 were left homeless by the catastrophe, and eighty percent of the historic center of the city was destroyed or damaged.

Government response in the months that followed focused on new residential construction to house the thousands of displaced residents. The historic center was cleared of debris and stabilized but remained a “zona rossa,” uninhabited and closed to public access.

Milan photographer Michele Nastasi began working in L’Aquila soon after the earthquake. His photographs record a cityscape of prosthesis: splints, casts and stays shore-up and stabilize centuries-old structures.

Nastasi’s work is on view at the Wolk Gallery (7-338) through April 18. For more information, contact 
Gary Van Zante, curator of architecture and design at the MIT Museum: vanzante@mit.edu; or 
Laura Knott, curatorial associate: lknott@mit.edu.


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