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With a photo report!

Italy: Bonduelle's Gli Orti per l'Arte inaugurates the new dome of the Chiesa degli Artisti in Rome

The "Gli Orti per l'Arte" project, promoted by Bonduelle Italia for the safeguard of the national artistic heritage, reached its first goal - completing the restoration of the dome of the the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto ("Chiesa degli Artisti") in Rome - a magnificent work of art by Bernini that had been waiting to be restored to its former glory for years. The operation was completed and presented to the press on 30th October 2013. 

Above and below: the restoration of the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto ("Chiesa degli Artisti") in Piazza del Popolo, Rome. Confrontation between the dome before and after the restoration.

After only three months, the first results of the work carried out by a specialised team of Pantone Restauri restorers can already be seen. The original colour was reinstated and the statues and plaster were restored.

Above and below: restoration of the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto ("Chiesa degli Artisti") in Piazza del Popolo, Rome. Confrontation between the dome before (left) and after the restoration. The construction of Santa Maria in Montesanto started in 1668 and after six years, the layout of the church had been modified so much that Gian Lorenzo Bernini had to intervene himself (1674-75) to build the dome. The dome is dodecagonal and ogival up until the crown of the lantern. 

"We are very satisfied with the outcome, a sign that the ambitious initiative of a company in the food sector can indeed work," says Umberto Galassini from Bonduelle Italia. "Gli Orti per l'Arte tries to create a connection between the productive and cultural worlds, which are mistakenly kept separate most of the time. Our company firmly believes in this connection and is trying to get more and more retailers involved to promote this operation."

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Umberto Galassini and Gianfranco D'Amico, chairman and general manager of Bonduelle Italia.

Gli Orti per l'Arte range includes 7 of the most popular varieties of salad - Lettuce (125g), Rocket (125g), Songino lettuce (110g), Iceberg lettuce (180g), Lettuce hearts (150g) and two types of mixed salads (150g - a mix of chicory, sugarloaf, red round chicory, curly salad and endive; and 125 g - green and red lettuce, rocket, spinach and Romaine lettuce).

The Bonduelle salads that founded the restoration.

Gli Orti per l'Arte salads entered the market in July 2013 and can be easily spotted thanks to the logo and graphic design on the packets. On the back you will find relevant details and a QR Code that connects you to the website, which has various sections, galleries and a real time webcam so that the progress of the operation can be viewed directly on a smartphone.

Unfortunately it is still not very easy to find these products on the supermarket shelves, and this is very important to complete the producer-distributor-consumer chain. We feel there is no excuse not to take part: Gli Orti per l'Arte project is the bench mark on which to measure the commitment for the safeguard of all things made in Italy.

The floor and painting restoration will continue over the next few months. The painting on the vault of the Sacristy depicts Angles and the instruments of Passion and it is in a terrible state: numerous pigments have detached from the background and are at risk of collapsing and there are many cracks. The plaster is also damaged and some pieces no longer exist.

Click here for the full photo report.

The vault of the Sacristy of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto. Restorers are already at work and should finish in March 2014.

"We are very satisfied with the results we have achieved so far, because we managed to finish the first step within the deadline, but mostly due to the high quality of the work done, which has been recognised by both the Curacy and the Superintendent of the Ministry for Cultural Goods," states Enrico Bressan, chairman of Fondaco (in the photo below).

Fondaco was founded in Venice in 2005 to submit cultural investments to companies. Thanks to this, enterprises strengthen their brand and company identity, while culture gets a chance to shine again. The company works on two fronts - restoration of cultural goods and company events. Fondaco also works as a buffer between the private and public sector to favour cooperation between the two. It works as a means of dialogue between companies, public bodies, superintendents and municipalities to overcome red tape. Thanks to all of this, Fondaco took care of 45 restorations (always on time and within budget) involving 43 companies. 

"The relationship between the public and the private sector is essential to create new resources for the maintenance of our artistic heritage. The fact that there are few ways in our country, to attract capitals, is food for thought, but today it seems more of an excuse not to deal with the problem. In such a moment of crisis, there are few financial resources and people are more careful about how they are being used. Entrepreneurs are becoming more aware that art can be a source of ideas and a way to strengthen all things made in Italy," continues Bressan.

There is the need to simplify the process by eliminating bureaucracy, as this is often the way things should not work. "We feel it necessary to open up a new phase in which the owner of a good (Public body) provides instruments and creates the best operating conditions while financiers provide the funds," concludes Bressan.

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