Art and culture: preserving and promoting Italian excellence
Preserving, promoting and sharing Italy’s historical and artistic heritage is widely recognised as an integral part of Intesa Sanpaolo’s social role. Intesa Sanpaolo believes that as the leading Italian bank, it must contribute not only to economic growth, but also to the country’s cultural and civic development.
Intesa Sanpaolo has a long tradition of actively contributing to the cultural life of the country. The concrete manifestation of this commitment is Progetto Cultura – a strategic ‘container’ that brings together all of the Bank’s cultural activities, renewed every three years and developed together with a Scientific Committee – and through the support given to numerous initiatives throughout Italy.
One of the main objectives of Progetto Cultura is to preserve, promote and share with the public the Group’s considerable artistic heritage, which represents one of the largest collections in Europe. Art and culture have always been one of the cornerstones of Intesa Sanpaolo’s identity and this is now reflected in the Bank’s balance sheet. Indeed, beginning in 2017, Intesa Sanpaolo began valuing its artistic heritage. In a move regarded as a first in Europe, Intesa Sanpaolo adjusted the value of its collection – as reported in its balance sheet – to bring it in line with current art market valuations (fair value). This is a major development in terms of economic and cultural impact, given that, in addition to increasing the value of the Bank’s assets with positive repercussions for shareholders, it signifies that art is becoming fully integrated into the world of credit and finance.
Intesa Sanpaolo’s artistic, architectural and archival heritage is made up of thousands of works ranging from the 5th century BC to the 20th century. Around 1,000 of these are on permanent display, including masterpieces by Caravaggio, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Boccioni, Fontana and Manzoni. The Group’s Gallerie d’Italia museums in Milan, Naples and Vicenza host a permanent collection of more than 30,000 works of art, on display in these historic buildings.
A fourth Gallerie d’Italia museum, in Turin’s Piazza San Carlo, will open in two years. To be housed in the historic Palazzo Turinetti - the legal seat of Intesa Sanpaolo – the new space will mainly feature photography, with a selection of works from the Bank’s collections. Key among these will be the Publifoto archive, one of the most important corporate collections in Europe, with some 7 million images of events, personalities and places taken between the early 1930s and the 1990s.
In addition to the permanent collections of the Gallerie d’Italia, temporary exhibitions are organised based on original scientifi c projects. In 2019, 18 major shows attracted more than 500,000 visitors. The Gallerie d’Italia also serve as training and social integration spaces.
The Careers in Art programme is a work-study initiative for introducing students to professionals in the art world. Programmes dedicated to individuals with special needs aim to give full accessibility to cultural heritage. Numerous international projects have been undertaken with some of the world’s most prominent institutions, which engage with the Bank for collaborations and exchanges of artworks.
These include the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, with which there is a three-year agreement; the Pushkin Museum in Moscow; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the National Gallery in London; and the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Many leading Italian cultural institutions have also been involved in Intesa Sanpaolo’s projects, including Palazzo Strozzi, Pinacoteca di Brera, Castello di Rivoli and Palazzo Ducale di Mantova. Since 1989, Restituzioni – a major restoration programme for Italy’s artistic and monumental heritage that is promoted, supported and curated by Intesa Sanpaolo, in collaboration with public institutions and the Superintendencies – has restored over 1,500 artworks that have been given back to the community.
In December 2019, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development issued a new commemorative postage stamp for Christmas to celebrate the artistic value of the Bank’s collection and the cultural activities linked to the Group’s artistic heritage. The stamp reproduced a painting from Intesa Sanpaolo’s collection entitled Madonna and Child with the young Saint John and Saint Jerome, which was painted by Francesco Raibolini, known as Il Francia, and his workshop in the fi rst decade of the 16th century.
Partnerships and sponsorships
Intesa Sanpaolo supports major public and private bodies throughout Italy to promote a love of culture and familiarity with Italy’s heritage among the general public. This demonstrates the Bank’s pivotal role in the cultural as well as economic development of the country and its communities.
The main areas of activity involve the dissemination of culture through music, theatre, dance, cinema, art, publishing and literature, photography and sport, with a particular focus on young people.
Intesa Sanpaolo has partnerships with Italy’s leading opera houses, including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala – for which it has supported the La Scala Under 30 project and other initiatives – as well the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino arts festival. The Group also supports a number of theatres and in partnership with the FAI (Italian Environmental Fund) manages the I Luoghi del Cuore project.
The Group collaborates with numerous music festivals, such as MITO SettembreMusica, PianoCity Milano, Torino Jazz Festival, JazzMI, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Opera Italiana is in the Air in Naples and the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. In terms of literary festivals, the Bank has links with the International Book Fair in Turin, Capalbio Libri, the Milanesiana and Book City in Milan, the Premio Campiello in Venice and also supports fi lm festivals such as that of Turin.
Additionally, the Bank supports events such as the Biennale Democrazia in Turin, the Festival of Economics in Trento and cultural/artistic events such as “Leonardo: The Machinery of Imagination” scheduled at the Gallery of Modern Art in Palermo and the Jewish Renaissance exhibition at the Meis National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara. Intesa Sanpaolo was also Gold Partner of Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
Last updated 21 February 2020 at 18:00:14