Private - public alliance needed for culture
November 10th 2017 - Milano
“The relationship between businesses and culture must be a strong and fruitful one,” stated Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism, “ideological barriers make no sense. Italy’s cultural patrimony is immense and certainly cannot be sustained by public institutions alone.” Eyed with skepticism until recently, philanthropy in Italy is now at the center of the debate. “To those who would argue otherwise, I would strongly reply that golden bridges must be built with the private sector, welcoming them and giving them the opportunity to work together with public institutions,” affirmed Giulia Maria Crespi, founder of the Italian National Trust (Fondo Ambiente Italiano – FAI).
Philanthropy as an essential resource towards safeguarding Italy’s artistic treasure was discussed at the Bracco Foundation’s conference “Business and culture: a possible union”, which kicked off Confindustria’s 16th Week of Corporate Culture in Milan and where the book, Bracco is Culture, was also presented, published to mark the 90th anniversary of the Group.
Weighing in on the topic, in addition to the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage, Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, and Giulia Maria Crespi, were Filippo Del Corno, the Municipality of Milan’s Assessor for Culture, Diana Bracco, Alexander Pereira, Superintendent of the La Scala Theater, philosopher Massimo Cacciari, Rossella Vodret, former Special Superintendent for the Polo Museale in Rome, David Brown from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Annalisa Zanni, Director of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Marco Balich and Alberto Meomartini, President of Musei d’Impresa.
“Our patrimony is not something to be contemplated,” underlined Massimo Cacciari, “but something that must be actively experienced and kept alive: in order to do this, we need private collaboration. We should not ask whether whoever manages a cultural asset comes from the public or private sector, but rather if that entity is working towards the public good or not.”
“It is imperative, however, that public institutions know how to communicate with the private sector,” added Diana Bracco, “going beyond a mere relationship of sponsorship: businesses must be provided assurances regarding timelines and the realization of projects as well as guarantees about the benefits and real impact.”
Marco Balich, instead, reminded us that, “The relationship between my creative team and the Bracco Group last May resulted in an exceptional show at the Triennale Museum in Milan titled The Beauty of Imaging which, through the language of art, illustrated the importance of imaging diagnostics. The event was not only a huge success with the public; it also won us the award for Best Cultural Event of 2017 at the 14th Best Event Awards - BEA.”