Friday, October 12, 2012 marked the inauguration of the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection donated to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. In a press conference at the event, Dr. Giovanna Damiani, Superintendent of the Historical and Artistic Patrimony of Venice read aloud a letter from Italy’s Minister of Culture, Hon. Lorenzo Ornaghi. While the letter expressed his regret for being unable to attend the inauguration of the exhibition in person, he also expressed his belief the “importance” of the Schulhof bequest, citing the need for a new infusion of life and passion in private art patronage in Italy and greater collaboration between private and public patronage to preserve and enhance Italy’s cultural heritage.
A translated text of the letter is below along with a PDF of the original letter in Italian as written and signed by Hon. Lorenzo Onaghi, Minister of Culture, Italy.
LETTER ADDRESSED TO DR GIOVANNA DAMIANI, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC PATRIMONY ETC. VENICE, BY HON. LORENZO ORNAGHI, MINISTER OF CULTURAL GOODS AND PROGRAMMES, ITALY. 10 OCTOBER 2012.
Dear Dr. Damiani,
With regret, owing to institutional commitments that cannot unfortunately be postponed, I am unable to accept the kind invitation to the inauguration of the exhibition of the Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof Collection donated to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. I ask you nevertheless to read these few lines as a sign of my convinced participation.
To the Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Philip Rylands, to the authorities and all others present, I send my warmest greetings. The outstanding importance of the bequest with which Hannelore Buck and Rudolph Schulhof have desired to enhance Peggy Guggenheim’s extraordinary collection can only arouse feelings of the deepest gratitude and admiration.
At a time in which a renewed spirit of genuine patronage – as a “civic attitude” – is as needed as it has ever been for the rescue and safeguarding of the artistic-historic patrimony in every country, the event that is being appropriately celebrated today must count as a motive for true hope and a noble model which we trust will be of inspiration to many others. Here in Italy we are nowadays thoroughly aware that we need ever more innovative formulas of partnership between the “the State/public” and “private/social” sectors, for an improved management and enhancement of our cultural patrimony.
The Guggenheim represents, in the magical setting of the Lagoon City, an inevitable tourist and cultural destination for those passionate about art and for visitors from the world over. Henceforth, it will surely be an even greater attraction, thanks to the more than 80 works that the Schulhofs have chosen to donate.
In expressing, then, every good wish for the success of the exhibition, I send again my most cordial greetings,