THE NEW REGENT

Now the dispute in court was settled, the Regency Board prepared to face its "new journey" after 5 years of temporary presidency by the Vice-Regent Renzo Gasperi. On 20 February 1984, the committee appointed as its third "regent" Pietro Monti, who had served as mayor of Rovereto from 1978 to 1983. It was therefore his task to continue on the journey undertaken by Don Rossaro and Father Jori, looking to the future with the determination to oversee the definitive refurbishment of the Bell on Miravalle Hill,valorising its symbolic significance and at the same time pursuing the goal of "education for peace”: by stimulating reflection and sharing the concept of acceptance in the broadest sense of the term, through the organisation of international events often at high level, creating opportunities for the growth of pacifist dialogue between people, groups, ethnicities and religions, and so laying the foundations for the increasingly wide projection and expansion of the politics of peace in the global world of the third millennium. I The year 1984 was also the sixtieth anniversary of the Bell's first casting, and the twentieth anniversary of the third. At the same time it was the intention to mark the centenary of the birth of Don Rossario, which had been the previous year.


REFLECTIONS ON PEACE

To this end, the Regency Board organised a major conference entitled "Reflections on Peace" which was held in the Zandonai Theatre on 22 September and was attended by the then Home Minister Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, nuclear physicist Antonino Zichichi, the Senegalese Ambassador Henry A. Senghor and the Bishop of Loreto Monsignor Loris Capovilla, secretary to Pope John XXIII. Each contributor addressed the subject from his own point of view, but with a global perspective, relaunching the message of peace inherited from Don Rossaro and reaffirmed daily by the "holy bronze". To further emphasise the importance of the event, the afternoon service at the Bell was attended not only by 40 diplomatic representatives, but also by the President of the Republic Sandro Pertini, the first President to pay homage to Maria Dolens. And it was one of those events that can't be ignored. For his part, Scalfaro concluded Rovereto's day of reflection on peace by saying "There is no man in the world, present here or far away, who can hear with his physical ears or in his heart the echo of this ringing and say: 'It's not for me'. Maria Dolens tolls for the suffering of mothers of every colour and every land; the song, the hopes and prayers of the mothers of the whole world:

may tragedy not be repeated! It tolls the anguish of those whose tragedies are alive and seemingly endless! May the Bell with its voice of a million deaths not ring in vain for all the world! May the Bell, symbol of the suffering of so many people, not ring in vain for us, not in vain for me! [...] it is prayer, it is invocation, it is, above all, a commitment to peace!"

It could be said that this event marks an ideological change in direction for the Regency Board, a new course which would lead the Bell's message to be seen in a different light, more in tune with the times, and in a perspective of heightened awareness that talking about Peace also and especially means taking about justice and solidarity. For the occasion a video was made of the current Bell and a new disc recorded under the title ‘e fecero una Campana’, with music by Rovereto artist Alessandro Raffaelli and words by Vito Pallavicini, movingly performed by the warm voice of Arnoldo Foà.In this way Rovereto reaffirmed its aspiration to become the "City of Peace" and the Bell its symbol.

The intention of the Opera Campana dei Caduti Foundation was to open up reflection on issues related to Peace, educating people through economics, politics, law, art, communication, science and religion, in an international framework in which it would be possible to outline a concrete expression of the theme of Peace in all its variants.

The day of reflection and President Pertini's visit were followed on 5 October 1984 by a "March for Peace" with a torchlit procession that travelled the streets of Rovereto and arrived at the Bell. This involved the participants of the Third European Ecumenical Conference held in Riva del Garda from 3 to 7 October as part of an interfaith event which would come to be seen as a landmark in the process of rapprochement among Europe's Christian churches, and following on from similar events held in France in 1978 and Denmark in 1981. The ceremony held at the foot of Maria Dolens, and the one held below the Cross of Reconciliation in Trento cathedral, constituted the most meaningful moments in a dialogue of brotherhood, unity and peace in evangelical hope. In the course of the 1980s, the Bell became increasingly renowned internationally for the power of its message of peace, attracting anyone who sought to welcome and reaffirm the message.


MUSIC FOR MARIA DOLENS

And so we come to the International Year of Peace and the gathering of the Alpine troops of northern Italy on 8 June 1986, which was attended by the Minister of Defence Giovanni Spadolini on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the murder of Cesare Battisti, Damiano Chiesa and Fabio Filzi; a prologue for the great gathering in Trento the following year. And also as part of the "Day of Peace” held on 27 August 1986 with the official participation of a delegation from UNESCO, was the concert of spiritual music on the Miravalle hill by black South African singer Miriam Makeba, enshrining its international nature.

1986 closed with the unfortunate “Città di Rovereto” mountaineering expedition which took climbers from the local climbing association to Cerro Torre in Patagonia. On the summit, at 3128 metres, they were due to place a reproduction of the Bell, but the mountain rejected the climbers from Rovereto. However, the expedition was not abandoned and, two years later in October 1988, Maria Dolens at last made it to the summit, thanks to two Rovereto climbers, Maurizio Giordani and Rosanna Manfrini. 1987 was also characterised by a series of important events of international calibre and, as the Regent Pietro Monti explained in an interview that year, these were "initiatives that found the Bell the ideal meeting point for different ideas geared to the search for a single dialogue". In this spirit, 14 and 15 March saw the organisation of a conference for “Peoples' Rights" (to escape the war of terrorism), which generated a kind of "Peace Charter". However, the central event of the year was the European Assembly of the "World Conference of Religions", cconvened in Rovereto from 1 to 3 May, which saw the attendance of 110 delegates representing 16 countries and seven religions. The culminating moment of the European assembly, whose theme was "Daring to Dialogue" (overcoming fear and violence through dialogue and mutual trust) was the interfaith service held in the square of the Bell, whose ringing officially concluded the important event. The previous evening another landmark event had taken place in the city: the "Concert for Unicef: at the Zandonai Theatre, showcasing promising young talents such as the very young violinist Stefan Milenkovic - aged just nine - the 15-year-old Venezuelan pianist Sergio Daniel Tiempo and the Veneto orchestra of Soloists. The conference delegates were guests of honour at the concert, underlining the significance of the universal human message transmitted by the music. The 60th edition of the national gathering of the Alpini in Trento also involved our city, with ceremonies in symbolic sites of remembrance for the events of the war and the Fallen: the Ossuary and - naturally - the Bell. In addition to these significant events there was a series of sports, cultural and religious happenings which included a visit to Maria Dolens as the most significant part of their events. These, then, are events no less important for the significance they carry, precisely because they repeatedly nourished public interest in the Bell.