Thursday, February 8, 2024

Covarrubias will house the Sad Hill museum with filming material of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

 The centre in Burgos will also bear the name of Carlo Simi, creator of the scenography of Sergio Leone's Westerns, among other films

Las Provincias

By J.A.G.

January 28, 2024

It will be called the Carlo Simi-Sad Hill Museum and will occupy the Casilla de Santo Tomás, a disused building next to the medieval church of the same name in Covarrubias (Burgos). These stone walls will house the future film museum, which will exhibit filming material from the films directed by Sergio Leone in which the Italian set designer Carlo Simi participated, whose heirs have given their legacy to the cultural project.

Among the films by Leone and Simi – with the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone – that will have museum representation is the so-called Dollar Trilogy, which includes the westerns 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'Death Had a Price' and 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', whose final scene, the duel between Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, It was filmed in the cemetery of Sad Hill, built for the purpose in a natural setting in the Arlanza valley, near Covarrubias.

Some of the props as well as sketches of the different locations of these and other shoots in which Simi worked (such as 'Until His Time Came' and 'Once Upon a Time in America') will be part of the Carlo Simi-Sad Hill Museum. "The centre", according to its promoters, aspires to be a unique museum, not only because of the potential of the material to be displayed, but also because of the peculiarity that it will exhibit the plans, sketches and props used for the filming of the scenes of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'".

Among these exterior locations are the Langstone Bridge (Hortigüela); Fort Betterville (Carazo); Mission San Antonio (Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza); and the cemetery of Sad Hill (Santo Domingo de Silos), all of them in the surroundings of Covarrubias and within the Sabinares del Arlanza-La Yecla Natural Park.

A "living" museum

The project, with a budget of 250,000 euros, of which the Junta de Castilla y León has advanced almost half, will be presented at the opening conference of the VI International Congress of Architecture and Cinema, which will be held in Covarrubias on Saturday, February 3. Participants will be Javier Sánchez, municipal architect of Covarrubias; Joseba del Valle, founding member of the Sad Hill Cemetery Recovery Project and spokesperson for the Simi family; and Giuditta Simi, daughter of the architect and set designer Carlo Simi and responsible for his legacy, who will do so by videoconference from Rome.

The Carlo Simi-Sad Hill Museum will house a permanent exhibition on its ground floor with everything related to the locations created by Simi for the filming of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'. The upper floor will be used for temporary exhibitions, given Simi's extensive legacy, which will rotate over time. The promoters want Simi-Sad Hill to be "a living museum" with lectures, presentations and film forums.

In a press release, they recall that the Simi-Sad Hill Museum is being promoted "under the express wish of the Simi family itself" together with the City Council of Covarrubias and in collaboration with the University of Burgos. "If Sergio Leone's right-hand man was Ennio Morricone, composer of the unforgettable soundtracks, Carlo Simi was his left-hand man, designing the scenery and working alongside him throughout his professional career," they add in the statement.

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