The history of the Botanic Garden of Brera during the Restoration of the Austrian Empire and the early years of the Kingdom of Italy
AbstractHere, we reconstruct the history of the Botanic Garden of Brera of Milan from the Restoration of the Austrian Empire up to the early years of the Kingdom of Italy, when in 1863 the garden passed hands from the Liceo di Sant’Alessandro to the Istituto Tecnico Superiore of Milan. The reconstruction is based mostly on unpublished documentation preserved at the Archivio di Stato of Milan, the Biblioteca Braidense of Milan, the libraries of the Museo di Storia Naturale of Milan and the Archivio di Stato of Milan, the Archivio del Liceo Classico Statale Cesare Beccaria of Milan, the historical archives of the Politecnico of Milan, the Biblioteca di Biologia Vegetale, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi, University of Turin, the Autografoteca Botanica of the Botanical Garden of the University of Modena, and the library of the Botanical Garden of the University of Padova. Overall, the period was one of slow decline for the Botanic Garden of Brera, against which successive directors – namely, Antonio Bodei, Francesco Enrico Acerbi, Giuseppe Balsamo Crivelli, Vincenzo Masserotti and Giustino Arpesani – combatted in vain. In particular, Balsamo Crivelli fought with great passion for many years to keep the level of the Botanic Garden of Brera at a satisfactory level, but he did not achieve the desired aim. However, he complied a partial list of the garden’s plants, of which an updated version is presented here.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Enrico Banfi, Agnese Visconti
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