Oltre L’Arte is a cooperative founded in July 2008 as part of the Policoro Project promoted by the CEI (Italian Episcopalian Community). It started with a group of young adults who wanted to create a job opportunity for themselves and for others in their hometown by investing in their own creativity and skills.
The name Oltre L’Arte which means “beyond art” in Italian, underscores the principle and fundamental vocation of the cooperative:
To advance Matera’s religious historical artistic heritage, reopening to the public its ancient cave churches and monasteries which had remained abandoned for centuries, to give back to Matera its intrinsic spiritual significance (Matera’s prehistoric caves had been inhabited by monks on spiritual retreats) and lastly, to help our visitors appreciate the city’s rich intangible heritage of spirituality, emotions, beliefs, and traditions.
Going “Beyond Art” means to go beyond the material and focus on people and relations. That’s why our main objective is to welcome all of our guests and visitors in a warm, fraternal way and help them take back from Matera something that goes beyond art.