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Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theater – Palermo
The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, better known as Teatro Massimo, in Palermo is the largest opera house in Italy, one of the largest in Europe and third in terms of architectural magnitude after the Opéra National in Paris and the Staatsoper of Vienna.

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The Theater is the seat of the Teatro Massimo Foundation which manages its activity

The works began in 1875, after troubled events that followed the 1864 competition won by the architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, on whose death was succeeded by his son Ernesto Basile, also an architect, who agreed to complete the ongoing work of the father at the request of the Municipality of Palermo, also completing the drawings necessary for the continuation of the works of the Theater.
The construction company that built the Teatro Massimo building belonged to two partners, Giovanni Rutelli and Alberto Machì.
Basile had organized training courses in classical art both for stone carving and for decoration aimed at training an adequate number of expert masters prepared to give the desired shapes, here to be able to finish, in the smallest details required, all the countless blocks of cut stone, necessary for the construction of the imposing theater, apart from the precise and original external decorations to be made later (during that period the number of expert carvers available was extremely small since the well-known Masters of the times they had already disappeared); for the construction, even about one hundred and fifty masters of carving were employed; it was the occasion for Rutelli to also devise a revolutionary crane driven by a steam engine and characterized by an ingenious system of pulleys / pulleys and cables that was effectively and successfully used during the construction of the Teatro Massimo VE for the lifting of large boulders, capitals and columns (lifting capacity up to eight tons of weight) to considerable heights for that time (up to 22 meters high), which could also accelerate the continuation of the works.

The Municipality of Palermo today preserves the relative scale prototype of this crane donated at the time by Giovanni Rutelli himself.

Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theater – Palermo

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