On 28 March 1981, Giuseppe Mazzotti departed this life in the city he loved so well, where he had become one of the twentieth century’s protagonists of the province’s cultural life. He was an extraordinary personality, a true Renaissance Man whose interests embraced art, mountaineering, literature, landscape, photography, food and wine and a commitment to the community, coherently linked by his love for the Veneto land and culture and his city.
“He has spoken, written and done. Let’s limit ourselves to recording the fact that he said, wrote or did certain things forty years in advance”: said journalist Gastone Favero in a video interview produced by the State TV (RAI) in 1972 to talk about Mazzotti’s passions and battles, in a conversation with friends such as Freya Stark, Toti del Monte, Andrea Zanzotto and Toni Benetton. His cultural sensitivity anticipated civil and cultural issues, still with us and still urgent, regarding the protection of Italy’s historic-artistic heritage and landscape seen as the result of the relationship between the environment and human intervention over time.
Mazzotti’s sensitivity led him to acknowledge value and cultural dignity not just in works of art deemed as such, but also in crafts – so-called minor art – and in folklore, folk songs and culinary traditions. He was far-sighted in his intuition of the effects of exploiting the environment, particularly the mountain areas. Considering that this range of multifaceted interests was combined with outstanding skills in communicating and disseminating information through his books, articles, essays and photographs, the modernity of Giuseppe Mazzotti still stands out today.
The Associazione Premio letterario Giuseppe Mazzotti was established immediately after his death, with the aim of rediscovering his relevance to our times and of continuing to transmit, particularly among the young, his thoughts, story and ‘civil battles’, by annually promoting a literary prize for works dealing with the issues that guided Mazzotti’s work and spirit.