The Venice's Ponte di Rialto.


FASHION PATRONS: OTB Group and Salvatore Ferragamo scooped up a prize each, as part of the second edition of the “Corporate Art Awards,” which lauds the synergies between private firms and institutions on art-related patronage.

The award ceremony took place in Rome on Wednesday, at the presence of Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.

OTB, the fashion group owned by Renzo Rosso, was bestowed with one of the four special awards reserved to private firms. The company was enrolled in this year’s awards after financing the restoration of Venice’s 16th-century iconic Ponte di Rialto bridge. OTB in 2014 had pledged to donate $6.5 million over a three-year period and the restoration works were completed last Spring.

Salvatore Ferragamo Group was given the special “Art Bonus” prize, as a reward for the Florentine company’s effort to fund the restoration of the Fountain of Neptune, located on the central Piazza della Signoria, in Florence. Restoration works — which included the makeover of the fountain’s system as well as its sculptural elements — are supposed to be completed by the end of 2018. The firm donated the sum of $1.7 million.

The Fountain of Neptune in Florence's Piazza della Signoria.

The Fountain of Neptune in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria.  Courtesy Photo.

Established in 2016, the “Corporate Art Awards” are part of the “Mecenati del XXI secolo” or “21st Century Patrons” program developed by PptArt, an Italian-based crowdsourcing platform offering art-related services to corporations and individuals, with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and Confindustria, among other institutions.

The second edition’s candidates to the awards also included other fashion companies such as Alcantara, Brunello Cucinelli and OVS.

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