Franco Cologni, Michelangelo Foundation, December 5, 2019
My heartfelt thoughts turn to Venice in the wake of the recent damage caused by the high tides, city of the Foundation’s heart, home to Homo Faber and many cherished artisans. The Michelangelo Foundation has pledged to participate in the Support Venice campaign launched by Venetian Heritage, which aims to restore the impacted Venetian patrimony - artistic and cultural heritage and architectural treasures, it is through the savoir-faire of skilled artisans that restoration projects can be carried out so that the rich artistic legacy of Venice is preserved for the future.
The Venetian artisans now critically need our support to rebuild their working studios, salvage their traditional tools and continue their businesses. Venice’s artisanal legacy rests on their shoulders and it is our ongoing quest to protect artisans, to ensure they have the possibilities to continue to craft and create, to increase their public visibility, and to value their skills and exquisite objects - the fruits of their dedication, passion, and love. Without the colourful patchwork of Venetian artisans, Venice would be but a ghost of its former self, it is crucial to protect these custodians of the Venetian cultural heritage –the living treasures of the city – the human embodiment of Venice’s artistic legacy.
The Michelangelo Foundation new headquarters at the ‘Arcades des Arts’ on Pont de la Machine, Geneva, are also on water. Here we continue to strive to put artisans at the forefront of our daily activities, to give them a voice and a platform to not only ensure they survive, but that they thrive and in doing so pass on their age-old techniques to new generations. Reflecting on a new dawn for this special location in the heart of Geneva’s centre, I hope that the space will be a beacon for fine craftsmanship, illuminative not just in a physical realm but also in an intellectual one; immersing its visitors in the world of excellent craftsmanship where tradition meets innovation, and creativity meets craftsmanship. It is at these intersections that true mastery of a craft emerges, and it is our mission to promote and perpetuate such fine craftsmanship, strengthen its links with the world of design, and ensure its sustainability. In a nutshell, the ‘Arcades des Arts’ will honour the beauty of fine workmanship and the knowledge that guides it.