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The "De Medici New Generation": The Italian Foundations' Collections and Philanthropy in the Third Millennium


  • Besana, Angela


Lorenzo de Medici, his family and his followers were well-known bankers, merchants and investors. The cultural heritage of Tuscany and Italy profited by a very great influence of this Highlighted Sponsor. Tuscany is nowadays a comprehensive heritage, one of the treasure the Italian Cultural Market has inherited. Since de Medici’s century, the bank industry has experienced a strong involvement in the support of the Italian culture. The bank industry is nowadays split in “for profit” and “not for profit” branches. The not for profit is connected with bank foundations, lately born in Italy (1990). Bank foundations are fund-givers of big philanthropy next to Public Administrations and foundations of big-sized Italian Firms of the famous “Made in Italy. Next to banks and bank foundations’ there is also corporate philanthropy of several Italian Firms. The assets and philanthropy of Italian Corporate Foundations have not been fully investigated yet. Corporate Foundations do develop exhibiting goals too, collecting and showing works of art of traditional and recent categories (from paintings to applied arts; from sculptures to design). In the economical literature Bank foundations have been mostly investigated recently. Nevertheless, bank and corporate foundations are not only grant-makers. Having collected arts and heritages through their bank and investing policies and services, they are now realizing their exhibiting potentials. Bank Foundation Museums, Industrial Museums and Corporate collections are now estimated as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between foundations and their cultural stakeholders. Art collections are part of the communication mix and branding of the propensity to arts and heritage commitment. This paper contains, first of all, an analysis of criteria of Italian Foundations Philanthropy, particularly of Bank Foundations. It will be, secondly, discussed of strategies and polarities of grant-making and operating in the arts. Collections and Museums will be studied in their implementation process, both offline and online. Cataloguing will be demonstrated as refers to international standards. Networking strategies with national and international institutions will be examined, in order to justify the touring of collections. It will be finally verified the wideness and correlation of grant-making and operating of these foundations in the economics of culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Besana, Angela, 2008. "The "De Medici New Generation": The Italian Foundations' Collections and Philanthropy in the Third Millennium," MPRA Paper 11215, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11215

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    More about this item


    philanthropy; collection; foundation; bank; corporate;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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