The Michelangelo Foundation Presents
The Michelangelo Foundation Presents
Previous Next September 26, 2018

Franco Cologni's Inaugural Speech

September 26, 2018

Oh, what a beautiful day…
This is my welcome to all of you.

In Italy we use the word “bello”, beautiful, to mean a lot of things: and I use this adjective, today, to invite you to enjoy this “beautiful day” on this magic island. The world is living in difficult times, but today we want to tell a beautiful story: beautiful because it’s a true story, a tangible one.

Here, from Palladio onwards, many prominent artists and artisans have left unique signs.
Here today we discover spaces and places conceived by excellent experts, where hundreds of creations crafted by master artisans are presented, from dozens of Countries.
Here today we inaugurate Homo Faber, highlighting again this fil rouge of creativity and craftsmanship that has crossed the centuries to come to us.

Homo Faber is not simply an exhibition, similar to many other very good ones, already done.
It’s not a moment to celebrate or indulge.
It does not have an immediate commercial purpose.
It’s not for marketing and advertising.

Homo Faber is a cultural investment dedicated to beauty, to a lasting – and not an ephemeral – beauty.

Homo Faber is the narration of a humanity that looks at the future with optimism, because talent, which can be found in all the countries, allows us to transform the ideas of today in the forms of the beauty of tomorrow.; and Homo Faber is a story dedicated not to one, but to many talents.

Homo Faber is our little contribution to history, offering the vision of a contemporary heritage of materials, objects and histories: the history of mankind is a history of objects but also of ideas and passions.

In such a difficult moment for the world, here, in this island, we speak about beauty and talent, of all that human hands can do better than any machine, as Johann Rupert anticipated: we speak about hands, hearts and hands that live with the passion for making, and making well.

In the very name “Homo Faber” there is the programme of what we do: homo faber is the man maker of his destiny, thanks to his talent and passion. It’s not the homo homini lupus (man as a wolf to other men), but the man who creates a better world for himself and other men too, leaving a signature on what he does.

Fine craftsmanship is not something belonging to one Country only: it’s a heritage of humanity. This is why Homo Faber has been conceived as an international exhibition: this edition is dedicated to Europe, from Açorras to Russia and from Iceland to Sicily. The next one, as our chairman announced, will encompass the artisans of the world.

Homo Faber, thus, is the beginning of a path that will be articulated around two points:
1. A more and more international and articulated network. Because only from the exchange of ideas and experiences can be born that cultural movement that will bring effective value to craftsmanship and creativity. Today the Grand Tour is no more what it used to be in the 19th century: nowadays talents have to be discovered but they also have to move, to be acknowledged from a wider public to be properly sustained.

2. An important “net” for the master craftsmen, to offer them visibility, promotion and the opportunity to transmit their know how. It is necessary to train a new generation of master artisans, abel to speak the language of a world in constant change.

The real enemy of this world, that we have defined “beautiful”, is not technology or speed: the enemies are ignorance and homologation. These are the enemies we want to fight and defeat, as Saint George does with the dragon, here on the Basilica.

This island is the island of tomorrow: or a more human future.

Here you will find variety, passions, commitment, work: the “tools” of every artist and craftsman.

Wasn’t I right, in the beginning, to start by saying that this is a beautiful day? And I finish with the same refrain, as if this were just an ouverture of an opera that is about to be revealed.

Thanks to everyone.

Franco Cologni