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Pirelli for the "Pinacoteca di Brera" Gallery

The Italian Minister for Heritage and Culture, Giovanna
Melandri, Announces an Agreement Between Pirelli and the
“Pinacoteca di Brera” Museum of Milan

Rome, May 24 2000 – The Italian Minister for Heritage and
Culture, Giovanna Melandri, illustrated today in Rome – in the
presence of Milan’s Superintendent of Monuments and Fine Arts Bruno
Contardi, and of Pirelli SpA’s Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera -
an agreement whereby Pirelli will provide institutional support to
the “Pinacoteca di Brera” Gallery of Milan.

According to the agreement, Pirelli has committed itself to
supporting the Museum’s activities with a significant annual
contribution and other joint initiatives aimed to a further
exploitation of the collection. Among these initiatives, a more
specific project is dedicated to the gradual restoration of the
works contained in one of Brera’s main wings: the one dedicated to
16th century Venetian paintings. Initial restoring actions will be
carried on the
Madonna and Child by Moretto da
and the Madonna and Child, St. Catherine, St.
Francis and the Donor
by Giovan Battista Moroni. The first
painting has been entrusted to Pinin Brambilla, previously
responsible for the restoration of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last

“The policy of restoring and exploiting the entire Italian
artistic and cultural heritage adopted by this Ministry is
proceeding apace”, declared Giovanna Melandri. “New financial
resources devoted to the area in recent years have allowed
significant and tangible results to be achieved. However, State
financing alone will never be sufficient to guarantee the complete
safeguarding of the vast Italian cultural patrimony. For this
reason, the resources that private enterprise decides to invest in
this field will be essential to a long-term and complete
valorization of the country’s incomparable artistic assets. The
institutional agreement reached between Pirelli and Brera Gallery
seems to be a step in the right direction and I hope that it may be
considered as a model for many further instances of profitable
collaboration between the public sector and private

Two Milanese institutions, leaders in their respective fields,
will be brought together by this agreement. The “Pinacoteca di
Brera” is Milan’s oldest art collection. Founded at the end of the
18th century and immediately housed in its present location, the
collection was Italy’s first public museum. In the last two years
the number of visitors to the gallery has doubled, the opening
hours have been significantly extended, an exhibition strategy has
been adopted that allows the scientific cataloguing of the
collection to continue and the Ronchey legislation has been put
into effect. The collection has also been significantly enlarged
and work on the new premises at Palazzo Citterio – envisioned by
Franco Russoli – is finally underway. These policies have placed
the gallery among the most advanced European museums, as befitting
its centuries-old traditions.

“The agreement emphasises and reinforces the multiple ties
between the ‘Pinacoteca di Brera’ and Milan, or at least the best
part of the city”, commented Bruno Contardi. “In contrast with
other episodes of patronage, frequently associated with single
initiatives or events, the “institutional support” proved by
Pirelli will allow the gallery to count on an annual controbution
for operating at its very best. This shows that a corporation with
long-established traditions of cultural commitment such as Pirelli
is concerned that the museum structure should be capable of
responding to the demands of its public. The agreement also has a
more general significance: it represents an important move towards
the administrative, scientific and financial autonomy for certain
major Italian museums demanded in historical and artistic circles
for years, and which will undoubtedly be achieved thanks to the
reforms of the Ministry for Heritage and Culture.”

In Pirelli’s perspective, the agreement is part of the group’s
overall cultural policy, which includes world-wide initiatives
ranging from the opening of three Etruscan halls at the Louvre to
participation in the La Scala Opera House Foundation, from the
restoration of the Italian garden at the Victoria & Albert
Musuem in London to the recent restructuring of the Capitolina
Gallery in Rome.

“These initiatives”, underlined Marco Tronchetti Provera, “are
part of the Group’s cultural tradition and its awareness of the
social and civic role of a Company, which includes among its duties
the contribution to the cultural growth of the countries in which
it operates. In Milan – where, for obvious reasons, we are already
involved in projects with other institutions – the ‘Pinacoteca di
Brera’ was a prestigious name missing. We are convinced that our
tradition of agreements with some of the world’s leading cultural
institutions will allow us to provide further positive developments
to the Museum’s activities.

Categories: Institutional