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1975 by the Association for the preservation of local traditions, the Museo
Internazionale delle Marionette Antonio Pasqualino has taken inspiration from modern
and contemporary museology but associated also to theatrical activity. The
structure houses a collection of 3500 pieces from around the world, and the adjoining
library of Giuseppe Leggio has about 3000 books on puppetry and folk
traditions. The video library materials
related to theatrical performances in different cultures and traditions. Among several initiatives, of particular
attention is given to the production of theatrical performances with the aim of
to promoting the innovative work of the traditional puppet shows. The Museum is
named after to Antonio Pasqualino, a real archaeologist in the field of folk
The Opera dei Pupi is the traditional puppet theater of southern Italy and has three distinct traditions, those of Palermo, Catania and Naples. The puppets in Palermo are 80 cm high, have articulated knees and is operated from the sides of the stage, those of Catania is 120 cm tall and operated from above by a bridge mounted behind the backdrop. In Naples they are 100 cm tall, have articulated knee and are operated by a bridge mounted behind the backdrop. The subjects were long histories inspired by the epic-chivalric literature, and more particularly to the Charlemagne cycle. Traditional repertoire also included stories of saints and bandits, historical events or Shakespeare's plays. The spectacle of the day was advertised through the use of signs decorated. In Palermo they were painted on canvas and divided into chess, usually eight, which illustrated the various episodes. In Catania, each episode was painted on a sheet of wrapping paper. Cartels Neapolitans were painted on sheets of paper.