Fashion for art: Prada and Fai, together for two restoration projects in Puglia

Polittico di Antonio Vivarini, San Ludovico

If “The Devil Wears Prada,” as a famous 2003 novel titled, now Prada gets new splendor on the artistic heritage of Italian history. The famous fashion house of haute couture has announced its commitment to support two projects that are part of the architectural and pictorial culture of Italy, together with FAI, the Italian Environmental Fund. It did so on the occasion of the inauguration of its new store in Puglia. A boutique in Bari, in the heart of the city shopping area, in a space on two levels, dominated by the elegance of black marble.

One of the two restoration projects concerns the altarpiece by painter Antonio Vivarini at Pinacoteca Provinciale in Bari. The five tables date back to 1467 and depict Christ in Pity, St. Louis of Toulouse, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John the Baptist and Saint Anthony from Padua. The first step of the recovery work will allow us to admire the original colors through the removal of oxidized paint which over time have taken away gloss and intensity from the colors. The Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari has been housing the boards since 1861, after having inherited them from the convent of Santa Maria Vetere in Andria.

Another treasure that will be dusted off is the well inside the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate in Lecce (LINK) which was the first FAI work in Puglia. New light will be donated to this well from the fifteen hundred which over the years has undergone considerable erosion, partly due to its location outdoors without protection, losing the original appearance of the decorative motifs carved on it. The well, which was realized in 1585, is part of the complex of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate which also includes a mill, stables and two oil-mills, in addition to the church. It was once one of the main religious centers of southern Italy, then was turned into a farm, until it dropped in abandonment after the sacking of the Ottomans in 1771. If you want to see a monument in Romanesque style, the Abbey is an example of the most significant to visit in Puglia.

With this initiative, the Italian brand consolidates a series of interventions started in 2010 with the recovery of four plaster statues of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and continued in 2012 with the intervention in the Shrine of St. Prosdocimus in the Abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua.

For more information: www.prada.com – www.fondoambiente.it

Prada Bari ext

Abazia di Santa Maria a Cerrate, la facciata

Polittico di Antonio Vivarini, Cristo in Pietà

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