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Patrick Boucheron’s Conjurer la peur. Sienne 1338 (Warding off fear. Siena 1338) is a profound essay “on the political power of images” which is based on an original analysis of the famous fresco in the Palazzo Comunale  in Siena, in which Ambrogio Lorenzetti depicted the effects of good and bad government on town and country. The author will enter into a dialogue with Alessandro Barbero, professor of Medieval History at the University of Eastern Piedmont, for whom this fresco is still very relevant today, Lorenzetti’s visionary work continues to alert us to the risks of democracy and the need to defend it.