Giorgio Cini Foundation
The Giorgio Cini Foundation is a non-profit cultural institution based in Venice, Italy. It was constituted by Vittorio Cini, in memory of his son Giorgio, with the aim of restoring the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore (devastated after 100 years of military occupation) and of creating an international cultural centre that would re-integrate the Island into the life of Venice.
The Giorgio Cini Foundation’s mission is to promote the redevelopment of the monumental complex on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore and encourage the creation and development of educational, social, cultural and artistic institutions in its surrounding territory.
The creation of the Foundation was one of the most considerable private initiatives of the 20th century. The importance of this undertaking was borne out by the initial investment committed to rehabilitate the Island and by the many events the Foundation has promoted or hosted since. It is further substanstiated by the cultural patrimony conserved on the Island and, since 1984, at the Gallery of Palazzo Cini at San Vio.
Alongside the Foundation’s commitment to its own research and the conferences and seminars growing out of this work, the Island welcomes events sponsored by distinguished cultural and scientific organisations. It has even been the site of major international summits (inprimis the G7 in 1980 and 1987).
The role of the Giorgio Cini Foundation is attested by the many highly esteemed intellectuals, artists, politicians and economists who have been involved in its programme, and by the recollections of scholars and guests who have spent time on the Island.
The new heart of the restyled user services in the Giorgio Cini Foundation library complex is the “Nuova Manica Lunga”: the monumental space of the former dormitory of the Benedictine fathers, originally designed by Giovanni Buora; an unique facility created according to the latest and highest international standards of library economics.
The architectural and redevelopment project for the spaces was undertaken by Michele De Lucchi, the winner of an international competition held in 200a5. He was then commissioned to refurbish the “Manica Lunga” for its new use. De Lucchi’s design has given shape to an open-plan multidisciplinary space making available to users the invaluable materials, often not found elsewhere.
The “Nuova Manica Lunga” represent the ideal “piazza” of the recently formed“Vittore Branca International Center for the Study of Italian Culture” where young researchers and expert scholars can stay while working in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini libraries. The International Center for the Study of Italian Culture is named after Vittore Branca – a world-renowned Italianist who was Secretary General of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.
The Giorgio Cini Foundation library possessions include sections on the history of Venice, literature, theatre and opera, relations between Venice and the East, and relations between Venice and Europe. The most significant section, however, is undoubtedly that dedicated to the history of art, which has over 150,000 books and collections of periodicals (around 800 titles, of which over 200 are current titles).