in Palazzo Turinetti the Publifoto archive and the treasures of the 1600s

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in Palazzo Turinetti the Publifoto archive and the treasures of the 1600s
from PIERLUIGI PANZA, our correspondent in Turin

From 17 May, a new headquarters for the Intesa Sanpaolo museum will be in town. Here is the polo shirt, designed by Michele De Lucchi, dedicated to photography and Piedmontese Baroque

After the great industrial and post-industrial season that shaped it, Turin tries to reinvent itself by adding a more sustainable and solidarity dimension. Here, at Palazzo Turinetti, the new headquarters of the Intesa Sanpaolo Galleries of Italy (piazza San Carlo 156) opens to the public on 17 May, dedicated to the most mechanical and technically reproducible of the arts: photography. To this new museum center of the banking institution, which follows Milano e Vicenzaa new headquarters will also be added on May 21 in Napoli. The decision to dedicate this pole to photography and image completes the offer of the city where the Cinema Museum is also located.

Palazzo Turinetti, which overlooks the noble square of the city, has an important access courtyard, an almost external-internal space where the architect Michele De Lucchi, with a certain courage, has rebuilt the portico in wood on two sides missing as an obvious quote. The courtyard functions as a reception and distribution space. If you go up to the first floor you enter the noble part of the building, where a predominantly seventeenth-century picture gallery set in historical furnishings is preserved. Also from the courtyard, a large staircase leads down to at least one where it has been emptied and re-functionalized the vault area, which has become a museum of photography. The refurbishment work lasted 420 days.

The imprint of the museum space strongly contemporary and technologically advanced. Temporary exhibitions and photography conservation laboratories are hosted on the first underground floor, while on the second underground floor there are permanent, didactic paths and the ticket office. The archive of the Publifoto agency, a cultural asset that documents Italian historical events from the 1930s to the 1990s, was transferred from Milan to this new location. Purchased in 2015, Intesa Sanpaolo has already started conservation and enhancement of this archive. One of the first two temporary exhibitions on display from May 17th in this new Galleria d’Italia the one dedicated to Publifoto’s images ranging from the post-war period to the moon landing (curated by Giovanna Calvenzi and Aldo Grasso): documents the transition from poverty to the economic miracle in our country. The second temporary exhibition, always available from 17, is entitled The fragile wonder. A journey into the changing nature by the photographer Paolo Pellegrini (curated by Walter Guadagnini with the contribution of Mario Calabresi). a reportage, made with the contribution of the bank, which documents climate change in areas such as Namibia, Iceland, Costa Rica. Also on display are shots by Cristina Mittermeier of National Geographic, Paolo Verzone and exhibitions with photos by Lisetta Carmi will follow (curator Alice Rohrwacher), by the American Gregory Crewdson (curator Jean-Charles Vergne) and Luca Locatelli (curator Elisa Mede, with partner Ellen MacArthur of Foundation Chicago). Then other exhibitions on high-impact themes like those relating to the climate crisis, the circular economy and the fight against inequalities. Unpublished photographic documentation will be permanently collected in the area.

In the long sleeve of the building a large touchscreen panel allows you to consult the digitized images of the archive thus made available for a collective function. Also available is a 40-meter multimedia room equipped with 17 4K projectors capable of offering the visitor the sensation of being immersed in images and videos.

The noble floor of the building is completely different, the result of a long history of collecting. In the postwar period Sanpaolo bought the bombed and destroyed Palazzo Turinetti (which belonged to a banking family). The historian and architect Arturo Midana launched the idea of ​​using it to house fixed baroque furnishings from other bombed-out buildings. The bank also bought these and kept them in various buildings. He also secured the furnishings of Palazzo Sommariva, with sumptuous boiserieBaroque and Rococ over-doors and mirrors adapted for Palazzo Turinetti where now, with the care of Gelsomina Spione, Alessandro Morandotti and Fernando Mazzocca, the seventeenth-century Oratory of the Compagnia di San Paolo has also been placed, nine paintings bought back in the twentieth century by the bank. On the walls, the paintings of protagonists of the Piedmontese Baroque and a tapestry designed by Franois Boucher, a second copy of which at the Quirinale. There are also two canvases by Gian Paolo Pannini, Whims by Giovanni Ghisolfi and fantastic views on boiserie by the 17th century Flemish Isaac de Moucheron.

The Galleries of Italy – he says the president emeritus of Intesa Sanpaolo, Giovanni Bazoli – they offer to the community that spiritual contribution that only art and culture can give. I believe that the Gallerie d’Italia is one of the most important cultural interventions in Europe. Photography, in particular, is an instrument of historical documentation and can be used for its understanding. With its exhibitions, the Gallerie d’Italia bears witness to our DNA. This place will increase the attraction of our territories, enhancing them for the future, assures the managing director Carlo Messina, who has also reassured about apocalyptic scenarios in the economy, warning about the Russian gas cut.

The satisfaction of the city authorities is obvious, including Stefano Lo Russo, mayor of Turin, and Alberto Cirio, president of the Region. The next appointment is Saturday 21, in Naples, where a new and larger headquarters of the Gallerie d’Italia will open in the Piacentine building on via Toledo. With this – recalls the president of Intesa Sanpaolo, Gian Maria Gros-Pietro -, we will have thirty thousand square meters of exhibition space becoming one of the world’s private leaders in cultural activity. In Italy there is nothing better than investing in culture and it is part of our corporate balance sheet. Intesa Sanpaolo’s permanent assets are the result of donations left to about fifty banking institutions which, over the years, have been aggregated by Intesa.

May 16, 2022 (change May 16, 2022 | 21:05)

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