The largest retail bank in Italy recently turned its Milan headquarters into a modern art museum. This took place at the headquarters of Intesanpaolo’s Banca Commerciale Italiana which was housed at the Palazzo Beltrami building which was built back in 1911. Essentially, the La Scala square building is one of the most iconic structures in Mlian and they turned the space into an exhibition that displayed the works of Renato Guttuso and Lucio Fontana involving about 200 pieces of artwork from the huge art collection of IntesaSanpaolo.
The exhibition was held in the midst of where the common banking counters used to operate. According to Michele De Lucchi, the director of the project, the main bank hall is now the main space where the artworks would be on display while some of the original cash counters are left intact. This came in the form of the Cantiere del ‘900 exhibition which will be hosted as part of the Gallerie d’Italia and involved artworks that have been collected in the past half century. Typically, the collection is made up of all Italian works while there is a section which was dedicated to Fontana and his popularly known Spatial Concept series. Apart from that, there are also works of Emilion Vedova and Alberto Burri’s collage works.
Giovanni Bazoli, the Supervisory Board Chairman of IntesaSanpaolo said that it has been a common tradition and practice among Italian banks to collect art and documents from their local area and that was just what the central bank had done.