By 1980 Bussana Vecchia had changed in many ways. The number of more or less full time residents was around hundred and fifty people. A number of the original members of the community had sold their houses in some cases to people with no artistic background. The rise of tourism stimulated thoughts of the fast financial gains possible in summer. This gave rise to new people from outside finding veritable spaces within the village to use as shops or galleries, changing the quality and quantity of the work on sale.



The San Remo Council during 1980 began to show an interest in Bussana Vecchia, having plans drawn up and ordering a survey and report on the village. The inhabitants, who at the time had no rapresentative group structure formed another organization : the New Community of International Artists, N.C.I.A., whose function was to speak for Bussana Vecchia as a whole in any matter concerning its future development.



In 1982 the N.C.I.A. became an official legal organization. The San Remo Council not feeling able to cope with the " Bussana Vecchia riddle ", launched the idea of an international contest among architets on the 29th October 1982 for plans to redevelop the village. In a meeting on the 3rd of November 1982 with the San Remo Council a " special commission " group was formed comprising two San Remo councillers, one person from Bussana Nuova and three people from Bussana Vecchia.


They had to draw up a report on the major areas of concern within the village. Even thoughit was an official report, there were no guarantees when the work would be carried out. The rules of the international contest for Bussana Vecchia were realized on the 1st July 1983. Towards the end of 1983 a number of people from Bussana Vecchia could prove that their houses had been occupied for ove 20 years and hence make official legal statements to that effect, this being the first step on the path towards legal ownership.










On the 2nd January 1984 the Intendenza di Finanza, ( the state ), made an amendment stating that the ruins of Bussana Vecchia had been wrongly filed as still being the property of the inhabitants of the Bussana Council and from then on would be registered as State Property.


The formation in August 1985of a new group in Bussana Vecchia, the Laboratorio Aperto, illustrates a different type of movement in the village. This being created by a number of people, now within the village, wanting simply to stimulate the imagination and produce objects or happenings to counter balance the general tendency now apparent in the village of more commercial artifacts.













































The inhabitants of the village has been forced to spend too much of their energy and time defending themselves from bureaucratic attacks, rather than the creative work they came here to do. It should be remembered that to choose to live in Bussana Vecchia required great sacrifice end material discomfort. By way of compromise they set up two organizations. The N.C.I.A. and the Laboratorio Aperto.

To create structures where in they could plan a legal defence and at the time work at the preservation and development of activities based on art, crafts and research. They both functioned successfully for a number of years, but the endless meetings necessary to discuss what should be done was so time consuming that there was a conflict between defending ourselves and finding time to work.


Out of necessity, people chose tu put their time into working and could give less time to the organizations. There were some who were not in a position to claim squatters rights "usucapione " and were misled into believing that a compromise could be reached with the authorities. Others discouraged by the endless legal wrangling and horrified by the mounting costs they could no longer afford, gave up.











For the first time the inhabitants were divided and found themselves fighting for their homes as individuals against the State.To us, the winning project is the one which will include our present experience when interpreting the history of Bussana Vecchia. The village has not been frozen in the middle ages, but lives again through the imagination and experience of artists, young and old, from different countries. They have found here a way to express their own ideas of dwelling and work in a permanent site laboratory of spontaneous architecture, not being conditioned by the interpretation of experts, or the needs of the real estate market.

We built our own individual space within a collective structure which is the village, its urban framework and social patterns changed by the earthquake of 1887. An experience of taking possession of space and territory which hasn' t got the like, for quality and quantity, in the phenomenon of spontaneous architecture in Italy.














We imagine a future where we would like to see operative structures able to help us show our work, music, theatre, painting, graphics, pottery, sculpture, poetry, jewellery and compare it with the work of outsiders, both artists and crafts men, who could use the space as we do.
Spaces where our research work can be more efficiently communicated to that large touristic flow who tend to see the inhabitants as amusing 60' s folklore rather than creative people and builders, whose work must eventually find a place in the town planning of this region, as an expression of our collective and individual history and our skill in salvaging abandoned buildings and turning this history into living and working spaces.