The Istituto Treccani in Rome was the venue on Monday 21 July for the presentation of the fac simile of Bodley 264 which is preserved in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and was produced by Damiani for Treccani and printed by the FAC SIMILE Division of Grafiche Damiani, the superior quality printer, member of Faenza Group Spa. In attendance were the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and the British ambassador to Rome Christopher Prentice, as well as some of the highest offices of the state including the president of the Constitutional Court, the deputy president of the Magistrates’ Governing Council, the director of RAI Anna Maria Tarantola, the director of the Accademia dei Lincei, a number of constitutional judges including Giuliano Amato, intellectuals, collectors, etc.
The volume was presented by Prof. Luciano Canfora who illustrated how the Bodley 264 is one of the most famous and most precious illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Written between 1338 in Belgium and 1410 in London, it contains the most complete version of the “Roman d’Alexandre” in Old French, the short story “Alexander and Dindimus” (based on letters between Alexander and the Indian King Dindimus) in English and the French version of The Million by Marco Polo. The publication, the first of its kind in the world, is the result of collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Istituto Treccani, who turned to Faenza Group to produce this highly prestigious volume of cultural importance.
The director of the Istituto Treccani, Franco Gallo, stated: “Treccani is a publishing house and an Ltd. so its aim is to make a profit, but it is also invested with public importance so its purpose is to provide culture, to be a vehicle for those who want research and who want to benefit from that research and it is our job to give them quality. At a time when the Internet is taking over and it is so easy to go online and have information at your fingertips, we must provide qualified, select information. Wikipedia is very useful but it is provided voluntarily, we on the other hand certify what we provide“.