Curiosa Meravigliosa Wins the CULTURA + IMPRESA Award

Curiosa Meravigliosa wins the X Edition of the CULTURA + IMPRESA Award in the pro bono application of VAAS category.

This major prize is a fitting reward for the partnership between the City of Reggio Emilia and Marazzi Group within the project that produced Curiosa Meravigliosa, the permanent public artwork created by Joan Fontcuberta for the Palazzo dei Musei in Reggio Emilia.

The peacock 16 metres high and 6 wide that dominates the facade of the Palazzo dei Musei in Reggio Emilia consists of more than 12,000 photographs. This permanent installation, entitled Curiosa Meravigliosa, was created by Joan Fontcuberta in association with ceramics industry leader Marazzi Group, and after fascinating many Reggio Emilia residents it has now received a major Italian prize, winning the tenth edition of the CULTURA + IMPRESA Award in the PRO BONO APPLICATION OF VAAS category.

Every year the coveted Award, presented by Federculture and The Round Table in association with Fondazione Italiana Accenture and ALES, selects, rewards and promotes the best projects undertaken in Italy by businesses, advertising agencies, no-profit organisations, government bodies, associations and cultural foundations which have successfully implemented a public-private partnership. This year, the Committee of CULTURA + IMPRESA – Italy’s chief authority and benchmarking organisation with regard to Cultural Sponsorships and Partnerships – joined forces with IULM University to launch the empirical development phase of VAAS – Value Analysis in Arts Sponsorship, the first model for assessing and measuring the impact of Cultural Sponsorships and Partnerships. During the 2022-2023 edition of the CULTURA + IMPRESA Award, VAAS will be applied on a pro bono basis to Curiosa Meravigliosa, the project selected from the 132 entries received.

“We are proud of this award, which recognises the value of the partnership between the City of Reggio Emilia and Marazzi Group that set out to benefit the community by creating the highly symbolic Curiosa Meravigliosa installation,” underlined Marazzi Group CEO Mauro Vandini. ”Marazzi ‘s bond with its local area is an intrinsic part of its corporate history and identity, and we still strive to keep it alive by partnering organisations and institutions and supporting art and culture. Therefore, our active contribution to the realisation of Curiosa Meravigliosa is not just a way of leaving a concrete, tangible sign of our presence in the area; it is first and foremost a means for underlining our commitment to continual improvement, to be achieved by investing in culture as a key factor in wellbeing and growth. Marazzi sees its support for institutions, artists, the past heritage and present creativity as a way of underlining its cultural links to a context that has provided it with a continual source of inspiration for more than eighty years.”

Curiosa Meravigliosa is a gigantic permanent public artwork created by Catalan artist Joan Fontcuberta for the Palazzo dei Musei in Reggio Emilia with assistance from Marazzi Group. It originated in a participatory process in which thousands of city residents sent in one or more photographs - giving a total of more than 12 thousand images – on the themes of curiosity and wonder, the founding themes of the collections housed in the building. The call for photographs received an amazing response and Joan Fontcuberta digitally reprocessed the thousands of images acquired and reassembled them together with photographs of the objects in the museums’ collections to make up a single large image of a peacock, a subject chosen by the artist from the institution’s zoology collections.

Monumental in its architectural impact and innovative scope, Curiosa Meravigliosa consists of no fewer than photo-printed porcelain stoneware 30 slabs of 120x240 cm which blend into the existing architecture and complete the renovation of the small building next door to the Musei Civici, restoring this location to full public use and providing a “new” meeting-place, starting from art, through active community engagement.

The work - a massive sixteen metres high - was designed and installed on the facade of the Palazzo dei Musei thanks to a partnership between the City of Reggio Emilia (Musei Civici) and Marazzi Group which, through its specialised Marazzi Engineering division, oversaw the production of the ceramic slabs that make up the work and hosted Fontcuberta during the production and digital printing phases.

Founded in the Thirties in Sassuolo (Modena), Marazzi is a global ceramics industry leader and has a long history of partnering artists in research and experimentation into ceramics. The project, which was also subsidised by Iren S.p.A. through its Art Bonus, thus fully embodies the spirit of the Award and demonstrates the fruitful potential of public-private partnerships, which are currently becoming more and more fundamental in the cultural system. It also underlines the importance of strategic dialogue between businesses and cultural actors in building positive relations between the cultural and corporate worlds.

As well as the prize in the PRO BONO APPLICATION OF VAAS category awarded to Curiosa Meravigliosa, the tenth edition of the CULTURA + IMPRESA Award also assigned three prizes for the Sponsorships and Partnerships, Corporate Cultural Productions and Art Bonus categories and five Special Mentions.

The prize was presented during the awards ceremony held in Rome to Marazzi Group Vice President Human Resources and Organisation Luca Gatti and City of Reggio Emilia Director of Cultural Services Valentina Galloni.

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