“Vergini is rich of history, of heart. It was an area of cemeteries and convents, a very spiritual location from ancient times.” 
SMMAVE stands for Santa Maria della Misericordia ai Vergini, the 16th-Century church it was originally formed to restore. Maria Corbi, an art historian, and her co-founders, artists Christian Leperino and Massimo Tartaglione, solved wiring and plumbing issues, shovelled rubbish and tackled mountains of paperwork alongside the actual restoration. 
Fortunately, the three friends weren’t completely on their own – they were supported by volunteers from the neighbourhood, along with art and architecture students. Together, they cleaned, researched, documented and repaired. After two years of work, the church reopened in 2016 as a centre for contemporary and performance art.




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