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March 2009

Fondaco has pleasure in announcing that restoration work has begun on the first of seven fireplaces in the Doge’s Palace, thanks to the commitment of the Marsilli family, within the context of the “Venetians X Venice” Group.

A family that has been adopted by the city and has made the decision to repay this love. “For me, watching the restoration work get started on a work of art like the fireplace in the Sala degli Scarlatti, said Luciano Marsilli, owner of the restaurant “La Vecia Cavana” and manager of “Le Maschere”, fills me with great emotion and pride, because every day I feel the warmth, appreciation and respect shown by so many friends and acquaintances surrounding my family.” “I would recommend an initiative of this kind to all Venetians – added Marsilli, because besides offering an experience making it possible to examine interesting works which over time have contributed to the uniqueness of our artistic heritage, it is an innovative way of communicating that ensures an important return, not only in terms of visibility”. “It is an investment in ourselves, recognising our responsibility in relation to those who visit Venice, but also to future generations, to whom we have to leave these artefacts in the best possible condition. Marsilli added:”I would like local scholars to take the time to visit these works. Perhaps over the next few months, with the cooperation of the Municipality of Venice and the Venetian Civic Museums Foundation, as well as the Monument’s Office to whom I extend my thanks, it would be wonderful to organise some teaching courses”. “The active participation of local business people – said Enrico Bressan from Fondaco – serves as a message and a very important example for the city. During difficult times, with all the certainty we have gained up to now wavering, the commitment and love to add value to our artistic heritage highlights the great sensitivity and pride in belonging to Venice”. Bressan continued: “Based on the optimistic signs of the last few months, it is hoped that interest on the part of Venetian business people will increase and spread. It is important to involve business people in defined projects, which will lead to new motivation. Great insight is often gained from a reading and subsequent interpretation of the past. In this sense, Venice is an open book that remains current, and can offer much to those in search of a challenge”. “With regard to Fondaco, concluded Bressan, I believe we are moving in the right direction and that results are very positive, but we cannot forget that all of this is possible because in Venice, there is complete harmony between the various Government institutions (Municipality, Museum’s Office and Civic Museum Foundation), and this is an aspect that needs to be recognised”. The first of seven fireplaces that the Venetian restorers Lares will be working on is in the Sala degli Scarlatti; the Room probably takes its name from the colour of the robes worn by the Magistrates who were called by the Doge, and would then have participated in official ceremonies with him. The architectural work of art was created in 1507 by master craftsmen Antonio and Tullio Lombardo, and is characterised by a beautiful frieze in sought after marble from Carrara, decorated with cornucopia, acanthus leaves, spirals and cherub heads. The decoration rests on a mantelpiece, which is also delicately decorated, and on two splendid spiral columns, which are distinctly oriental in taste. A bas-relief representing the Doge Agostino Barbarigo’s coat of arms is found on the hood. The colouring of the marble surface is currently rather uneven, due to the oxidation of the protective waxes and surface residues, which have hardened over time. There are also small gaps visible both on the stone surface and the stuccoing joints.

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