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Berlin – Art and architecture of the Farnesina on display

The Italian Embassy in Berlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are showcasing Italian art and architecture of the 1950s as exemplified by the work of the artists and architects involved in creating the Farnesina building. Work started on the plans for the Ministry headquarters in 1940. The exhibition, organised as part of the Italian EU Presidency, also aims to explore the role played by Italy and the Farnesina in the birth of the Union – from the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 to the Treaties of Rome and the birth of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957.

The exhibition will run at the Embassy in Berlin from 17 November to 4 December 2014, with guided tours of available for the public.

Works from the 1950s owned by the Ministry and others on loan to the Farnesina Collection.

The focus of the exhibition, which includes about 40 works, is the construction of the Farnesina: from the project completion works to the interior design by Enrico Del Debbio (1953-1959), from later design and art work in the rooms of the “piano nobile” to the works acquired through public competitions (1965-1970) in line with the arts culture of the 1950s. The architectural part of the exhibition includes plans, designs, period photos, models from the Del Debbio archive (held in the MAXXI gallery in Rome) and from the Ministry’s archives.

The artistic element of the show will concentrate on the works of the 1950s owned by the Ministry and others on loan to the Farnesina Collection – Accardi, Afro, Bertini, Conte, Dorazio, Leoncillo, Sanfilippo, Scanavino etc – and sketches for the interior decorative works of that and the subsequent decade. Some of the sketches are held in the Farnesina’s permanent collection (Selva, Scordia) and others in the archives of the artists and architects who worked on the building in the 1950s (Bevilacqua, Calò Cascella, Coccia, Consagra, Tot, Montanarini, Novelli, Pomodoro, Quaroni, Scialoja ecc.).