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THE FAIR IS A SPRINGBOARD FOR THE ECONOMY WHILE MORANDI GOES TO CHINA WITH AN EXHIBITION

Events | Exhibitions | Art

How do I see the Bologna of today? I see a city that must relaunch a challenge above all to itself, a city that must reinterpret itself and regain a metropolitan identity, emerging from that limbo in which it has been stuck for too many years now, like one of those very beautiful medium-sized Italian cities that if they do not grow, risk shrinking. And the resources for growing on an international scale, today necessary, are in front of all of our eyes: its university, the fair, its “brains” and its industrial excellence. In reality, Bologna is now already much more international than one might think.

The Alma Mater itself gauges itself, and must gauge itself, with the need to save and develop the role of international university, becoming (in addition to a place of education) even more of a great center of research to produce new talents as well as attract them. The fair, in turn, has 20% of its exhibitors and visitors during the year that come from abroad.

Bologna must remake itself following the example of other European cities like Freiburg, Heidelberg and Lyon and Stuttgart and also others that—from their cultural history, the university of their economic and business scene, their industry, their fairs—have built their identity, their force of attraction. Precisely in this environment Bologna Fiere presents itself as a great springboard for the city’s economy, it being a fair of the great Italian production districts, from ceramics to farming machines and from cosmetics to the automotive industry, and as a fair center, also addressed to the cultural industry with ArteFiera and the Children’s Book Fair and other initiatives that we are pondering.

Being adjacent to the city, the fair is easily accessible and this steers one to the city itself, to enjoy the related activities produced by the great flux of visitors, Italian and foreign, that each year pass through its gates. Our intention is to make the fair become more and more of a platform for the internationalization of Bologna, increasing the fairs and events that we already do, and creating new ones, setting in motion a virtuous circuit that links the fairgrounds to the city, making it—through the innovation project that we are preparing—more livable and attractive for an ever growing number Italians and foreigners.

The bottom line is that the fair makes the city larger; the city must make the fair more beautiful. In this context, with ArteFiera we set an objective for ourselves to relaunch Bologna Fiere as the most important fair center that dedicates itself to promoting the value of modern and contemporary Italian art. ArteFiera, to which we have given a new artistic direction, must become the point of reference for those that collect and the foreign public that would like to get to know the concept of “Made in Italy”.

Together with ArteFiera, this year with the Municipality of Bologna we promote the first edition of Art City to recapture the role of the city as a center of the culture of contemporary times as well.

When I asked Giorgio Verzotti and Claudio Spadoni to become Artistic Directors of ArteFiera, they told me, "How could we say no to a job promoting the art fair in Morandi’s city?".

Morandi, Morandi is a name that comes up again and again… Morandi is the most loved European painter in China… At Hangzhou, the most important cultural city in China, an ancient imperial capital, there is a great school of art dedicated to the study of Morandi.

I can say so from my own experience, because over the years BolognaFiere has become the most present Italian fair in China, so we can see that now already the anticipation for the Morandi exhibition to be held in Beijing in 2014 echoes deeply. And when Giorgio Morandi—who all in China know as the painter of Bologna, will follow the Silk Route—that which is “Made in Italy” will become a great universal language.

 

 

Article by Duccio Campagnoli

Chairman of BolognaFiere

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