Veranstaltung > FACES. The many visages of the human history

FACES. THE MANY VISAGES OF THE HUMAN HISTORY Faces – present ones and those of our ancestors – are the protagonists of this exhibition: they offer an opportunity to address well-known anthropology issues, highlighting how they have changed a lot over time. Faces are the connection between us and the outside world: we recognize, we are recognized, we recognize thanks to them. Faces, very often, say who we are, where we come from and how we feel. We all try to read them, in order to understand and anticipate someone’s intentions.
Sometimes we have try to find in faces what does not exist, particularly the mark of the so-called “human races”. Faces are also symbolic territories for the masks we apply to. The human diversity is reflected by faces, and also the deep unity of our evolutionary history have left traces. Faces are like unstitched book pages that tell us stories.
What could we feel if fascinating faces of the past, inextricably linked to the history of the city of Padua, could be showed and reconstructed in their features?
To see St. Anthony, the poet laureate Francesco Petrarca, the great anatomist and pathologist Giambattista Morgagni and even an Egyptian priest of the Ptolemaic Period: today this is possible thanks to forensic facial reconstructions of the last generation that allow to reproduce the faces with great precision and immediacy.
Exhibition sections
Facing the human diversity
One face, one race? Not at all
Faces from the past
The mirror of the face
From face to mask

From 14 February to 14 June 2015
Sale espositive del Centro di Ateneo per i Musei, Università di Padova
via Orto botanico 15, Padova
  • via Orto botanico 15
    Padova (PD)


With branches all over the Veneto Region in Italy, Padova University is a great centre of multidisciplinary studies with a long and prestigious tradition in Europe. Here scientists of the calibre of Galileo and poets such as Ugo Foscolo were able to study in total freedom. This tradition of freedom continues today: in 2013, the National Agency for University Evaluation recognised Padova University’s scientific projects as the best in Italy for relevance, originality and international importance.
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Since its foundation in 1222, Padova University has been a hothouse of research, experimentation and progress, boasting famous ex-alumni such as Francesco Guicciardini and Pico della Mirandola, and teachers such as  Galileo, Falloppio, Vesalio, Morgagni and Harvey.  
Padova University has always attracted celebrated European scholars, a mark of its international outlook and the importance of its contribution to Science and Culture. Indeed, some of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements were initiated by Padova scholars: from Enrico Bernardi, who developed the petrol-fuelled piston engine, to “Bepi” Colombo, “the celestial mechanic” who worked on the launch of the Giotto Mission spacecraft; from Melchiorre Cesarotti, who translated Homer and Ossian, to Vittore Branca, who discovered the Decameron manuscript, and to the linguistic and philological school of Folena, Tagliavini e Pellegrini; from academics, such as the Latin scholar Concetto Marchesi or Egidio Meneghetti, who helped develop chemiotherapy pharmaceuticals, to jurists, such as Alfredo Rocco and Enrico Opocher; from the philosopher Norberto Bobbio to the poet Diego Valeri; from the mathematician Tullio Levi Civita, whose work provides the mathematical structure at the base of Einstein’sTheory of General Relativity, to the surgeon Vincenzo Gallucci, who carried out the first heart transplant operation in Italy in 1985.  
1545 saw the foundation in Padova of the world’s first University Botanical Gardens, which today are a UNESCO World Heritage Site; one of the earliest anatomical theatres was inaugurated in 1594, promoted by Girolamo Fabrici d'Acquapendente; and in 1678 Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia became the first ever woman to graduate from a university.
Academic tables have put Padova University in the country’s top positions for the quality of teaching, research and services. In 2013 the National Agency for University Evaluation judged Padova to be the best large Italian university for the relevance, originality, innovation and international impact of its research.  
The numbers of the University speak too of its importance:  65,000 students, over 2,100 teachers, nearly 2,200 administrative staff, 12,000 graduates per year, over 5,000 study grants, 32 departments, over 2 million books in 38 libraries, 81 laurea triennale courses, 83 laurea magistrale courses, 8 laurea a ciclo unico courses, 70 Masters courses, 57 Schools of Specialisation, 35 Ph.D. Schools.
Padova University has close ties with 166 universities in 65 countries, and this internationalism is underlined by the growing number of courses held in English: 8  laurea magistrale courses and 7 Masters courses are taught entirely in English.  
There is also the School of Excellence, la Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori, which every year selects the top 24 students, who can choose between classes in Moral Sciences or Natural Sciences.
Universa universis patavina libertas: forever free, forever at the forefront of international research.
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