PhD Student
PhD in Sciences for Cultural Heritage and Production - XXXVIII cycle
Tutor: Germana BARONE

Marilisa Spironello

Art Historian, licensed tourist guide at the Region of Sicily, professor at the L.A. of Catania 

She graduated in Scenography (LM-89), specialising in Cultural Heritage, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania, with a thesis on Mozart's Don Giovanni (2006; marks: 110/110 cum laude). He obtained a teaching qualification in Geometrical, Architectural and Scenotechnics Disciplines (2008; A008), followed by a Master's Degree in Visual Arts and Disciplines for the Performing Arts, specialising in Scenography (LM-85), designing a redevelopment for the Monumental Complex of the Church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo in Palermo (2010; grades: 110/110 cum laude). In 2013 he obtained a 2nd Level Master's Degree in Conservation, Restoration and Maintenance of Contemporary Works of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, supervising the restoration of some Contemporary Works of Art at the Orestiadi Foundation in Gibellina (intervening on works by artists Pietro Consagra and Giulio Turcato,  director of works Antonio Rava) and redeveloping the Emilio Tadini Tower at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa (director of works Prof. Giuseppe Basile) with contribution in volume "Il 'TEMPO' RESTAURATO. Recupero, restauro e prevenzione della Torre del Tempo di Emilio Tadini" (2013, F. Provenzani & C. Editore  - Palermo; 2015 (reprint) Associazione Internazionale per la storia e l'attualità del restauro - per Cesare Brandi, AISAR - Palermo). She also obtained his qualification in History of Art and Design ex classe a025 - a028 (Ambito D1) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania, exhibiting the experimental realisation of an app dedicated to the Virtual tour of Palazzo Abatellis (2015). He recently obtained a Master's Degree in History of Art (LM-89) at the University of Palermo, presenting a thesis entitled: Il Museo Diocesano di Caltagirone. Survey | Cataloguing | Valorisation (2022; grades: 110/110 cum laude).

She has curated exhibitions, cultural events, seminars and workshops for the Academy of Fine Arts of Catania, the University of Catania, for private bodies and foundations in Catania, including the Brodbeck Foundation and the Puglisi-Cosentino Foundation, and also for the municipalities of Catania, Palermo, Erice, Agira, Sperlinga, Spadafora, Siracusa, Mineo, Piazza Armerina, for the Sicilian Region and the MIC (Ministry of Culture). She has been FAI (FONDO AMBIENTE ITALIANO) Delegate of Catania since 2010.  She was cultrice della materia for the discipline History of Modern Art(ABST47), led by Prof. Ornella Fazzina at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania. She has held public appointments within the 'I-ART' project financed by intervention line 3.1.3. of the PO FESR SICILIA 2007/2013, led by the Municipality of Catania, both as 'Assistant' to the Multipurpose Cultural Centres and as 'Expert in Popular Traditions and Local Identities'. She won a call for tenders from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism for the digitisation of the Italian archival heritage (Project #500 young people for culture), for which she was involved in the study and research of paths for the animation and valorisation of material and intangible heritage, with a contribution in the volume "Nobiltà alla Carta - Itinerario turistico-culturale nelle cucine aristocratiche di Palermo" (2019, UniPaPress - Series "Quaderni di Clio"). 

Recently she curated the exhibition 'Cunti' and the related catalogue, as well as the photography exhibition 'Chiamateci streghe' (Call us witches), sponsored by the MIC and staged both at the Real Albergo delle Povere in Palermo and at the Galleria Civica d'Arte Contemporanea Montevergini in Syracuse (Academy of Fine Arts of Catania - Tyche Editions). For the FAI Delegation of Catania in 2016 she curated an exhibition and related catalogue (Tyche Publications) entitled "Rosso Corallo - Presepi ed altri Capolavori" coral works of art by Maestro Platimiro Fiorenza, at the Diocesan Museum of Catania and since then she has held the position of FAI School Delegate, dealing with the design of integrated routes for museum education.

She is currently a PhD candidate in the XXXVIII cycle in Science for Cultural Heritage and Production and is studying the History of applied arts and goldsmithing with particular reference to the Sicilian context.

Project title:

Sacred Art Museums in the Calatina area: analysis and project proposals

The research project aims to carry out a systematic survey of the collections of Sacred Art in the Caltagirone area, dealing with four case studies: The Museo Diocesano (Caltagirone), the Museo Pinacoteca dei frati minori Cappucini (Caltagirone), the Museo d'Arte Sacra di San Nicolò (Militello in Val di Catania) and the Museo del Tesoro della chiesa di Santa Maria la Stella (Militello in Val di Catania), where very heterogeneous artistic collections are gathered together, consisting of decorative art objects, but above all, liturgical furnishings of varying dates and manufacture, whose rich presence makes it possible to accurately define their chronology, also tracing their stylistic evolution, which involved both the Sicilian silversmiths' and goldsmiths' workshops. The proposed reconnaissance, based on the preliminary analysis and subsequent scientific cataloguing of the artefacts, by means of cards drawn up also using the ICCD type 4.00 standard, is necessary not only for an organic valorisation of the Calatino diocesan collections - currently lacking a catalogue raisonné - but also to extrapolate the contents to be entered into an updatable database that, exploiting the technological potential, will allow for a more widespread promotion. The cataloguing activity will be implemented by carrying out non-destructive analyses in the field (Raman spectroscopy, XRF spectrophotometry, etc.) useful for establishing the composition of gems and alloys on selected artefacts and reconstructing their contexts of origin.

The cataloguing activity will be followed by that of valorisation implemented through the creation of navigable Virtual Tours with the insertion of augmentation points (hotspots) that will allow the consultation of the compiled cards, favouring, likewise, the possibility of identifying a series of thematic interconnections, within the framework of the sense of a "diffused" and fully accessible museum reality.

Press Review

Al via le ‘indagini scientifiche’ sull’Arte Sacra dell’area calatina - UniCt Magazine del 16/03/2023:

Arte Sacra in area calatina: analisi e catalogazione - LA SICILIA del 16/03/2023: photo

Ricercatori ed esperti dell'Università di Catania presso il Museo Diocesano di Caltagirone - KalatNews :

Beni museali, la tutela passa dalla tecnologia - LA SICILIA DEL 14/04/2023: photo

Research Products | Contributions presented 

26 June 2023 - 5th National Conference on Gemmology "Yesterday, today, tomorrow: gemmology between research, market and policy" at Department of Earth Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome (CU005).  The paper entitled 'Gemstones from preciousand historical liturgical ornaments in Sicily: a non-invasive chemical and mineralogicalinvestigation'. Authors: Fugazzotto M., Barone G., Caggiani M.C., Mazzoleni P., Spironello M.Y.
27 June 2023 - 5th National Conference on Gemmology "Yesterday, today, tomorrow: gemmology between research, market and policy" at Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome (CU005). The paper entitled 'The role of gemmological and scientific analyses of Trapani coral. An ongoing project'. Authors: Spironello M.Y.; Bertino A. 
4 | 5 September 2023 -  International Conference on the Application of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology (RAA) at The National Gallery- Alexandros Soutsos Museum Athens, Greece.  The paper entitled "In situ Raman investigation of Sicilian historical ecclesiastic objects embellished with gemstones (Italy, 18th-19th cent.)". Authors: Caggiani M.C., Barone G., Fugazzotto M., Raimondi F., Spampinato G., Spironello M. Y., Mazzoleni P. Book of abstracts: (p.52)

11 settembre 2023 - Workshop ICIAP 2023: 4th International Workshop on PatternRecognition for Cultural Heritage (PatReCH 2023) at the Polo Economico- Giuridico of the University of Udine.  The paper entitled  "3D modeling and AugmentedReality in Education: an effective application for the Museo dei Saperi e delle Mirabilia of the University of Catania". Authors Barone G., Garozzo R., Russo G., Santagati C., Sinitò D., Spironello M.Y., Stanco F.

18 | 22 settembre 2023 - XLII Scientific Instrument Symposium (SIC) presso il Dipartimento di Teologia dell'Università di Palermo. Co-autrice del contributo dal titolo 'From Cataloguing to Enhancement: how to involve high school students in cultural heritage management. The example with the ancient scientific instruments collections of the University of Catania.'. Authors: Majorana S., Fugazzotto M., Barone G., Geraci E., Martorana N., Santagati C., Spironello M.Y., Stanco F. Book of abstracts: 2023.pdf (p.42)
19|21 settembre 2023 - Joint SIMP, SGI, SOGEI, AIV Congress "The Geosciences Paradigm: Resources, Risks and Future Prospects" at the University of Basilicata (Potenza Campus). Co-author of the paper entitled 'Historical ecclesiastic jewellery from 18th century Sicily: non-invasive gemological investigation'. Authors: Spironello M.Y., Caggiani M.C., Fugazzotto M., Barone G., Mazzoleni P., Raimondi F., Spampinato G. Book of abstracts: (p.548)


Other activities during the PhD | Tutoring

Support as a guide at the Museum of Sicilian Knowledge and Mirabilia during events promoted by the University
Coordination of the multisensory experience "The fantastic world of rocks" at the Museum of Sicilian Knowledge and Mirabilia of the University of Catania
PCTO project tutor "3D artefacts of the Museum of Sicilian Knowledge and Mirabilia" (30 hours Liceo Artistico Statale "Emilio Greco" of Catania and 14 hours IIS "Devilla" of Sassari)
PCTO project tutor Liceo Artistico Statale "Emilio Greco" of Catania videomapping project "La Ciminiere scientifica" - 1st classified; https://

Coordination of the jewellery design workshop with the students of the Liceo Artistico Statale "Emilio Greco" of Catania within the meeting coordinated by Prof. Germana Barone entitled "L'Affascinante studio delle Gemme"

Sharper Night - interactive guided tours at the Museum of Sicilian Knowledge and Mirabilia of the University of Catania 
Tutors PCTO Liceo Artistico Statale "Emilio Greco" of Catania project "The Museum goes down in the Square!" Augmented reality in the service of cultural heritage

Other Research Activities

Summer School entitled 'L'Inventariazione e la Catalogazione dei Beni Storico- Artistici Ecclesiastici' (The Inventory and Cataloguing of Historical and Artistic Ecclesiastical Assets) organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University - University of Tuscia; National Office for Ecclesiastical Assets and Religious Buildings at the Centro Studi Santa Rosa in Viterbo.


Member ICOM International Council of Museums Italy 

Member of the ICOM National Working Group 'Cultural Heritage Education'

Member of the ICOM National Working Group 'Accessibility'

FAI School Delegate for the FAI Delegation of Catania

Member ANMS - National Association of Science Museums

Ordinary member Associazione Dottorandi e Dottori di Ricerca Italiani - ADDRI Catania

Participations during the PhD

From 10/11 to 12/11/2022 Participation in the III International Conference "Ceramics in Sicily - From Prehistory to the Contemporary Age" held at the Diocesan Museum of Catania.
From 04/11 to 05/11/2022 Participation in the Convention 'The Tale of Art in Sicily, Land of Landing. La presenza nella Sicilia orientale dei Gagini di Bissone e l'Umanesimo della Rinascita tra XV e XVI secolo' (The presence in Eastern Sicily of the Gaginis of Bissone and the Humanism of the Rebirth between the 15th and 16th Centuries) held at the Museo Civico di Castello Ursino di Catania.
21 | 22 April 2023 Partecipation in the International conference on "Decorative Arts, Costume and Society in the Mediterranean between the 18th and 19th centuries" at the University of Palermo - Trapani Branch.
12 | 13 May 2023 Partecipation in the Study day 'Beyond the slide. Ecclesiastical cultural heritage: from accessibility to inclusion" organised by the National Office for Ecclesiastical Cultural Heritage and Worship Buildings in collaboration with the National Service for the pastoral care of persons with disabilities and the diocese of Florence.
03 October 2023 Participation in the presentation of the book "La Cattedrale medievale di Catania" by Prof. Tancredi Bella, lecturer in History of Medieval Art, at the University of Catania - Department of Humanities.
17 | 20 October 2023 Partecipation in the XXXII ANMS Congress - Diversity as Identity. Cultures, Audiences and Heritage in Scientific Museums at the Aula del Quattrocento, Pavia Central University Building.


- Articles in scientific journals

Spironello M.Y. (2023) "Un capolavoro di Filippo Paladini nella cattedrale di Catania: il Martirio di S. Agata" AGORÀ nn. 82/2022 - 83-84/2023, ISSN 2280-4196, Giarre (CT) pp.24-32

Spironello M.Y., Barone G., Mazzoleni P., Caggiani M.C., Fugazzotto M. (2023): Indagini non invasive  in situ in tre ostensori del Museo Diocesano di Caltagirone: nuove prospettive di ricerca,  OADI Digitalia - Palermo University Press nn. 28/2023, Palermo, ISSN 2038-4394 [in pubblicazione]


- Contributions in books

Spironello M.Y., Barone G., Garozzo R., Russo G., Santagati C., Sinitò D., Stanco F.(2023) 3D modeling and Augmented Reality in Education: an effective application for the Museo dei Saperi e delle Mirabilia of the University of Catania ICIAP 2023. LECTURE NOTES INCOMPUTER SCIENCE, Berlin: Springer International Publishing AG. (2023) ISBN: 978-3-030-30753-0, ISSN: 0302-9743 [under publication]

Spironello M.Y., Barone G., Majorana S., Fugazzotto M.(2023): Un approccio sperimentale multisensoriale per le Scienze della Terra in MUSEOLOGIA SCIENTIFICA volume 17/2023 NUOVA SERIE, ISSN 1123- 265X [under publication]