Gabriele Basilico moved in 2003, and all the material relative to Non Recensiti disappeared, randomly tucked away by his assistants. The book remained the subject of conversation for years, and despite many people searching for the material, there was no trace of this curious survey. Later on, I myself tried to find it, with similar results. On Thursday 15th October, I was in Rome when I received a message from Alberto Saibene of Humboldt Books. He had heard about Non Recensiti on a number of occasions and wanted to let me know that, should the material turn up, they would be interested in publishing it. It was an unexpected request but I forwarded it anyway to Gianni Nigro, a long-time collaborator of Gabriele Basilico, in a jokey sort of way. However, the following day Gianni found the maquette, in a wardrobe he had already searched several times, which was packed with maps from all over the world. In a truly surprising chain of events over the next month, a Brera Academy student, Andrea Elia Zanini, then doing an internship at the Gabriele Basilico Archive, found the original negatives, proofs and prints. The book could finally be published. But that wasn’t the end of it. Looking at the registrations for a conference held by Joan Fontcuberta at the MAST in Bologna I discovered that, at precisely the same time, a book by a Catalan photographer, Ximo Berenguer, had suffered the same fate as Basilico’s book. Needless to say, the story turned out to be one of Fontcuberta’s customary hoaxes, but at that point it became inevitable to ask him for a written contribution to sign off the project.
As I said myself in the Humboldt book, Non Recensiti is now in a position to be reviewed. However, the particular events that punctuated every step of the production of this curious book – curious compared with Gabriele Basilico’s usual photographic tendencies and his fascination with the built environment – have yet to be explained.