Many visitors have consulted this site since its publication at the end of 2012 from France and particularly from Corsica, but also from neighboring countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland…)
The site also aroused the curiosity of Asian visitors.
But even more surprising is the significant and constant number of American ‘surfers'(mainly from the United States but also from Latin America and even Canada). Culture of research ? Law of Numbers ?
Whatever their motivations – idle curiosity or constant interest – may they be thanked.
D. B. (May 2013)
Restoration of the church and the bell tower of Carbini
How ‘fiddling' journalists rewrite history.
The Roman church of Carbini was the subject of an article in the Corse-Hebdo on May 6, 2011. The heading was “Belfry builders at Carbini” signed by Véronique Emmanuelli, The text was due to the imagination of a local representative (1) of Alta Rocca, who incited the article. The editorial staff of Corse-Hebdo, ignoring everything about the Church and the Bell-tower of Carbini – believing they had a ‘scoop' – succumbed to the insistence of the Mayor's assistant who presented himself as a local historian..The newspaper published the article written by the ‘local historian' without taking the usual precautions. The result is a text written unscrupulously reducing the historical truth to mere rumors.
In this article without solid foundations, almost everything is false : on the state of the church and the bell-tower, on the circumstances of the restoration in the early XXth century, on Dominique Bartoli contractor of Sainte-Lucie de Tallano, in charge of the reconstruction.
If a major part of the history of the Roman church of Carbini is revealed by the work of Mrs. Moracchini-Mazel, what concerns the restoration of the bell-tower is not well-known.
Historical circumstances of the construction
After centuries and centuries of Barbarian occupation, of destruction and incursions, at the end of the XIth century, Corsica, which is still a part of Roman heritage, is assigned administrators from Pisa; first a marquis from Tuscany, then a bishop from Pisa, mandated by the Pope Gregory VII. Pisa, city-state, exercises its maritime supremacy on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Middle Ages, coming late to Corsica, can now develop under the feudal Pisaean authorities.
Up until the late XIII century, when Pisa looses its domination in naval combat against the Genoa fleet, Pisa behaves as a colonizer whose influence is not completely negative.
The Roman churches
The Romans assembled a very heterogeneous population, consisting mostly of nomads who were not innate builders. With a large capacity of adaptation, they borrowed the art of construction as well as the necessary technical vocabulary from the Etruscans, a more elaborate and technically enviable civilization. Therefore, the Pisaeans had two sources: the legacy of their ancient Etruscan ancestors and by rebound, the Roman influence.
As soon as they settle in Corsica under the religious authority of the Bishop of Pisa, on almost all the territory, they build churches in the ‘contemporary'style, and especially the first Roman style.
In the region of Alta Rocca, in the north of Sartenia, the principal vestiges are the churches of Carbini, Poggio de Tallano and of Sainte-Marie Figaniella
The church San Giovanni Battista of Carbini stands out by its aesthetic quality, its historical interest, and thanks to the intervention of Proper Mérimée, its restoration.
Its bell-tower distinguishes it and the ruins of San Quilico Church which originally flanked it enhance the mystery. The importance of the piévanie (principal parish) in the chronicle and the legend is revealed by the sectarian community of Giovannali.
Note 1 :The assistant of the Mayor of Tallano, Alexandre Marcellesi, entitled by his function to direct the destinies of the village, also believed in his power to weigh on local history. He presented this ridiculous version of the restoration of the Roman Church of Carbini which probably flattered his ego.
Quoted as a source, I obtained an agreement from the editor in chief publisher, Jacques Renucci, to a 6000-sign correction in response, (according to usage in the newspaper industry) agreement which was never honored. It seems that the Corse-Hebdo is reluctant to publish a text signed by an author who does not belong to the same seraglio, especially if the text is well-founded. Quite to the contrary, the editor, proud of his article, uses it as a cultural promotion free of access on Internet since May 15, 2011; or maybe it is the consequence of an influence of which I am unaware; or a symptom of the catastrophic situation of the Group Hersant.
Contrary to the ‘allegations' of the article, I have never been a gallery director and I am pleased to say so.
How was the history of these monuments, restored in 1903, reconstituted?
The sequence of the decisions, the facts and situations in conformity aided by the dates and the content of official letters as well as the hand-written annotations in the margin of letters and vouchers facilitated the reconstitution of events. .
The totality of the documents consulted is much more important than the few pages proposed as illustrations. Ingoing mail to the Ministry is always the original manuscript, while outgoing mail is archived as minutes dictated to a secretary because the original letter was mailed directly, sometimes without a copy..
The remainder is in the realm of reconstitution...
This reconstruction in ‘dry stone' – beginning with the first figures, the dates, the delays, prices, sums and calculations – needed the mortar of a few personal commentaries which does not exclude the rigour of reasoning..
Texts and photos: all rights reserved 1997/2012
English translation 2013 by Judith Levy