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ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO 2019 | Fund-Raising "MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE" | 16/19 May 2019 | Corsini Gardens, Florence


It was held today in the Foreign Press Room in Rome the press conference of the 25th edition of ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO which will be held at the Corsini Gardens in Florence from May 16th to May 19th, 2019.

“Our commitment in these years has been to place the focus of attention on two principles which we consider fundamental for the development of our country: preserving the age-old artistic trades, fruit of Italian ingenuity; giving space to dialogue in order to build a bridge between history and innovation”, underline Giorgiana Corsini and Neri Torrigiani.
“At the same time, our ambition is to bring young talented people into contact with Master craftspeople, to help them plan their future, through the preservation and promotion of artisan traditions”.

In a unique setting, in the seventeenth century Italian-style Giardino Corsini, designed by Gherardo Silvani, this year the Exhibition will present a new selection of over 100 artisans from Italy and abroad who will come to Florence, not only to display their products, but also to put themselves to the test, in live demonstrations of their skills. And they will interact with the visitors, revealing the secrets of their unique creative works.

The event continues with a “fund-raising campaign to promote the Florentine cultural heritage” addressed to private citizens and businesses. In 2018 it was dedicated to the reopening of the Richard Ginori Museum of the Manifattura di Doccia.

“For the 25th year of the Exhibition we wish to pay a tribute to the multicultural and international identity of our city by setting ourselves a challenge, as patrons of the arts, where history and modernity meet”, explain the organizers.

The campaign “ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO: MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE” will be dedicated to the restoration and conservation of some extraordinary works of art, that testify to the cultural bond between Florence and the Russian community which, in the course of the 19th and early 20th century, embellished the city with residences, churches and important art collections.

Throughout the century, poets, artists, intellectuals, but also aristocrats and clerics, came to Florence, bringing their cultural and spiritual knowledge with them, bursting with ideas and artistic ferment, turning the city into an international melting pot of creativity.


Retracing the steps taken by the so-called “Russian colony”, the aim of the international fund-raising campaign “ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO: MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE” is to renew the links between the Florentine community and Russia. But also, as always, to promote the great Florentine tradition of craftsmanship and its new talented exponents.

The target is to collect over € 308.000,00 in order to be able to carry out urgent restoration and conservation works on the masterpieces of the Demidoff Collection housed in the Stibbert Museum; on theHemicycle of the Evangelical Cemetery “agli Allori”; and to complete the restoration works on the Church of the Nativity of Christ and Saint Nicholas the Thaumaturge (the icons of St Andrew and St John the Theologian, the large iron entrance door by the Officine Michelucci and the fresco of the Annunciation in the narthex).

By taking part in the campaign, the donors will become an active part of the history of ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO, but also of Florence itself, since their names will appear in these important lieux de mémoire, witnesses to the history of Florence and its profound cultural exchanges with the Russian community.

The organisers of ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO have decided to offer some sculptures of the young Florentine artist Riccardo Prosperi - aka "Simafra" - and the donations collected for these works will be channelled into the fund-raising project: ten unique numbered pieces, presented in a special Catalogue, with an introduction by Natalia Parenko, Director of the St. Petersburg Art Academy in Florence.
Specifically, there will be sculptures that transform the idea of the folkloristic Russian Matryoshka dolls into concentric globes in which the “geological eras” are represented by materials that can be traced to the Siberian mines: gold, malachite, diamonds, hard coal, gas…

Furthermore, the organisers Giorgiana Corsini and Neri Torrigiani have suggested to the Il Cappello di Firenze Consortium – composed of the top enterprises of the Signa area which have been weaving straw and other typical materials since time immemorial - to produce a special collection of hats, drawing their inspiration from famous real and fictional figures of the Russian world. One hundred unique numbered pieces will be on exclusive display at the Giardino Corsini and the donations collected will be channelled into the "MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE" fund-raising campaign.

ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO EXHIBITION MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE is open to everyone and all donations are appreciated.

Supporters will receive different rewards depending on the donations they make: invitation to the ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO Exhibition preview cocktail, exclusive meetings, visits to historical private buildings in Florence, guided tours of the city’s museums and to places that are not usually open to the public, seats in the stalls for the next Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival, straw hats hand-crafted by the companies of the “Il Cappello” consortium of Florence, inspired by the greatest figures of Russian literature, sculptures by the artist Simafra and a host more besides.

For details on donations/rewards, see:

Donations may be made until 31 May 2019 by:
Bank Transfer:
c/c n. 16968/00
Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze - Agenzia 8 / via il Prato, Firenze
IBAN: IT 25 P 06160 02808 000016968C00



The proceeds of the campaign will finance urgent restoration and conservation works on:

opened on 26 February 1878 as a burial ground for the mortal remains of the members of non-Catholic communities. Founded as a Protestant cemetery according to a design by the architect Giuseppe Boccini - who also designed the Russian Orthodox Church of Florence together with Michail Preobrazenski - this is the cemetery for six Florentine Evangelical Churches, although ever since its foundation it has welcomed the dead of all religions, including many leading figures of the Russian community.
This monumental cemetery has given a resting place to artists, painters and sculptors, writers and art collectors from all over the world: Frederick Stibbert, Henry Percy Horne, Charles Loeser, Olga Basilewskij, Arnold Böcklin, Lysine de Pilar Pilhau Rucellai, Roberto Longhi, sir John Pope-Hennessy, sir Harold Acton, father Vladimir Levickij, Nina Harkevič, Maria Olsufieva Michahelles, Thayaht, Anna Banti, Oriana Fallaci, Adriana Pincherle. (Florence, via Senese 184).
Quote for total restoration and preservation works: € 274.000,00

Extraordinary objects such as the large malachite table decorated with gilt bronze statues,the hard-stone fireplaces and chandeliers purchased by Frederick Stibbert from the Demidoffs, the exceedingly rich Russian princes, owners of malachite mines, who lived for many years in Florence, where they purchased - among other properties - the Pratolino estate from the Savoy family in 1872. (Florence, via Federico Stibbert, 26)
Quote for total restoration and preservation works: € 4.300,00

built between 1899 and 1903 at the behest of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, daughter of Tsar Nicholas I.
The works particularly concern the icons of St. Andrew and St. John the Theologian, the fresco of the Annunciation in the narthex and the large iron entrance door, work of the Officine Michelucci foundry.
A unique monument in Europe, the Church of the Nativity is a rare and precious example of artistic collaboration between some of the best Russian and Italian artists and craftsmen. While the murals and icons adorning the inside of the Church are by Russian artists, some of the masonry structures, carvings and majolica decorations were created by the Italian workforce.
The exquisite two-leaved door leading to the upper church is finely carved in walnut, depicting stories from the Old Testament, by one of the most famous woodcarvers of the mid-19th century, Rinaldo Barbetti. With regard to the Church’s exterior, the multi-coloured majolica tiles of the Manifattura Cantagalli factory, with their characteristic “fish scale” shape, adorn its domes and the high stringcourses of its main façade. The iron crosses and the elaborate railings enclosing the grounds of the building, adorned with imperial eagles and the Florentine lily enshrining the Italo-Russian artistic partnership, is the work of the Fonderie Michelucci of Pistoia. The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the greatest manifestations of the Russian presence in the Tuscan regional capital and it is a historical monument under the protection of the Special Superintendency for the Historical and Artistic Heritage of the city of Florence which is responsible for the High Level Surveillance and Artistic Direction of the conservative restoration works of the architectural complex. (Florence, via Leone X, 8)
Quote for total restoration and preservation works: € 30.000,00

ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO: MEMORIES OF RUSSIA IN FLORENCE” is sponsored by Fondazione CR Firenze, Giusto Manetti Battiloro, The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, Savio Firmino, Richard Ginori, Fondazione Ferragamo, Banca CR Firenze, Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte in cooperation with Starhotels, Desinare, Riccardo Barthel, Life Beyond Tourism, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alitalia, Amanda Tours and Source Self-Made Design.