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The Farnesina Collection goes online on Google Art Project

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has joined the Google Art Project, an online technology platform developed by Google to promote and protect culture, by displaying a digital Collection of 176 works of art. By searching for “Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation” on www.google.com/culturalinstitute, visitors will be able to take a virtual tour of the most significant pieces of the Farnesina Collection, displayed on the first floor of the Ministry, and view the digital exhibition “System: New Acquisitions and Young Artists of the Farnesina Collection”.  

The digital Collection

The first phase of the process led to the digitalisation of 176 works of art, which will be enriched, in the upcoming months, by the rest of the works contained in the Collection. The most significant works already visible online include: Afro, Le città d’America (1952), Fabio Mauri, Schermo (1972), Michelangelo Pistoletto, L’Etrusco (1976) and Carla Accardi, Si dividono invano (2006).

The virtual tour with Street View

By using the Google Street View technology, it will be possible to take a 360° virtual tour along the exhibition itinerary on the first floor of the Palazzo della Farnesina, which includes the Entrance Hall, the Hall of Honour, the Great Hall of Honour, the Mosaics Room, the Protocol Corridor, the World Globe Hall, the Form 1 Hall, the corridor of the General Secretariat and the Glass Walkway. The itinerary enables visitors to see the most significant pieces of the Collection and to be guided through the historic artistic highlights of the Italian ‘Novecento’.

The “System” digital exhibition

The Google Cultural Institute section dedicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation includes the digital exhibition “System: New Acquisitions and Young Artists of the Farnesina Collection”, which contains a selection of artworks that bear witness to the plurality of voices and expressions of contemporary art of the last two decades, with a special focus on the young generation of artists.

The Farnesina Collection

Established in 2001, at the initiative of the then Secretary General, Ambassador Umberto Vattani, the Farnesina Collection is the heart of the Ministry’s specific policy orientation, turning contemporary artistic research into a strategic intervention area of its cultural policy.

Starting from its first significant group of acquisitions, which entailed the commissioning of an impressive decorative setup, to the numerous works of art acquired during the ‘50s and ‘60s, several scientific committees have conducted a long-term selection that led to creating a very high-profile collection of works of art from the Italian ‘Novecento’.

The free loan formula

The acquisition formula adopted was that of a free loan, which has made it possible to constantly increase the dimension of the collection and to regularly alternate the artworks, which currently amount to more than 450. The direct contribution of the artists or of their heirs and cooperation with prestigious museums, art galleries and foundations has confirmed their staunch confidence in the Ministry’s activities.

The Scientific Committee

Thanks to the last three years of work of the Scientific Committee, the Farnesina Collection was enriched with a new group of artworks by the leading Italian artists of the second half of the 20th Century (Burri, Accardi, Sanfilippo, Vedova, Turcato), with increasing focus on the latest artistic research efforts (Zorio, Piacentino, Mochetti, Salvadori).

The Google Cultural Institute

Launched in 2010, the Google Cultural Institute has focused its efforts on developing online technology aimed at promoting and protecting culture. All the projects of the Google Cultural Institute arise from a close collaboration with important Italian and international partners: museums, foundations, sites of cultural interest, archives and other institutions that manage proprietary contents on the technology platform made available by Google. The establishment of an Archive of Digital Exhibitions is one of the Google Cultural Institute’s latest projects. Following up on the fruitful cooperation with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Yad Vashem Archive, which made thousands of documents available online, 42 online exhibitions were launched in October 2012, narrating some of the historic milestones of the 20th Century from different viewpoints. The more than 700 exhibitions currently available on the Google Cultural Institute website are only the starting point in an itinerary that we hope will continue over time, exploring new themes, people and historical periods of reference. Through these exhibitions, the Google Cultural Institute pursues the aim of increasing the amount of cultural information available online, thus fulfilling Google’s own mission.