Giving back to society by preserving a piece of Italy's history

Francesca Benati

General Manager and Managing Director, Amadeus Italy

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There are many masterpieces in Italy, sometimes forgotten, in need of restoration to be brought back to their ancient greatness. Fondazione Atlante, created in December 2011 by Amadeus Italy and Gruppo Uvet, aims to do just this by supporting and preserving Italian artwork for the benefit of society at large.

A year ago we were fascinated by the beauty of the Portinari Chapel, commissioned by the Florentine nobleman Pigello Portinari (1421–1468), who became the representative in Milan of the Medici bank. Above the chapel’s altar, the Pigello Portinari davanti a San Pietro Martire portrait, depicts Pigello Portinari kneeling in prayer in front of Saint Peter of Verona. Legend has it that Pigello commissioned this masterpiece after Saint Peter appeared to him in a vision.

The portrait was created by an Anonymous artist of the Florentine School in the second half of the 1400s. Unfortunately, it was in bad condition and clashed with the richly decorated and already restored chapel. Upon confirmation of the artistic value of the painting by historical experts, Fondazione Atlante allocated the funds necessary to complete the restoration.

After the complex and tedious conservation work, which lasted more than a year, the masterpiece has been returned to its original magnificence. From July 15th, tourists and visitors who travel to Milan during the ExpoMilano 2015, the exhibition hosted until October 31, will have an opportunity to admire the Pigello Portinari davanti a San Pietro Martire painting.

We celebrated the unveiling of the restored painting in partnership with the Ministry of Heritage, Culture and Tourism and it was a project that made us very proud because now many generations to come will be able to appreciate this masterful piece of art.

We are all committed to partake in more work with the Fondazione Atlante to preserve important pieces of cultural heritage as a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme at Amadeus Italy.


Europe, Italy