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The Last Will of Enrico Caruso and Others

Public Exhibition at Freie Universität Displays Wills of Famous Italians / Exhibition Opening on May 30, 2017

№ 134/2017 from May 26, 2017

The wills of 27 celebrities of Italian public life will be on display in June in an exhibition at Freie Universität. The spectrum of documents, with German translations and comments in German, ranges from historically prominent individuals such as Giuseppe Garibaldi to writers such as Luigi Pirandello, the opera singer Enrico Caruso, and the founder of FIAT, Giovanni Agnelli, Sr. The texts provide not only unusual insights into the family situation of the author of the will, but also into the social circumstances of the times in which the authors lived. The exhibition will be opened on May 30 with a workshop on inheritance contracts organized by the Italian and German notarial society. A visit to the exhibition and attendance at the workshop are both free of charge.

The exhibition was originally shown in Rome in 2012 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. Staff members of the Center for Italian Studies and the Department of Law at Freie Universität in cooperation with the Italian National Council of Notaries, the Italian Notarial Foundation, and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Germany have translated the documents for the first time and added descriptive texts in German.

As part of the opening on May 30, 2017, beginning at 6:30 p.m., there will be a workshop organized by the Italian and German notarial societies on the subject of "inheritance contracts." The workshop will focus on such issues as the prohibition of these contracts in Italy, the reasons for their legitimacy in Germany, and in this context, a discussion about a possible amendment of the Italian Civil Code to also make inheritance contracts possible in Italy. The event will be opened jointly by Prof. Dr. Ignacio Czeguhn, dean of the Department of Law, Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Huss, director of the Center for Italian Studies. Welcoming addresses will be given by Prof. Luigi Reitani, the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlin, and Dr. Salvatore Lombardo, the president of the National Council of Notaries, Italy.

Further Information

Time and Location

  • Opening: Tuesday, May 30, 6 p.m.; workshop: 6:30 p.m.
  • Exhibition: May 30  –  June 30, 2017, hours: Mo-Fr 8 a.m. –10 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun. 12 noon – 8 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Library of the Department of Law, Van’t-Hoff-Str. 8, Berlin. subway station: Freie Universität / Thielplatz (U3).


Sabine Greiner, Center for Italian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-50455, Email:  italzen@zedat.fu-berlin.de