The Embassy of Italy in Tokyo, the Prada Group and the Enrico Castellani Foundation are pleased to announce that on 17 April 2019 the work White Surface (Superficie bianca) by Enrico Castellani, part of the Farnesina collection held at the Italian Embassy, was returned to its original site – the entrance hall of the Residence of the Diplomatic Mission – after being delicately restored with the support of the Prada Group.
The artwork, now restored to its original condition after the careful intervention of Studio Restauri Formica in Milan, was created in 1966 before being earmarked by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo.
The restoration was preceded and guided by a thorough investigation into the condition of the artwork and possible intervention methods, with the full involvement of the Enrico Castellani Foundation from the earliest stages. All the parties involved in the restoration – the Enrico Castellani Foundation, the Prada Group, the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo and Studio Restauri Formica – came to the joint decision to proceed with a careful cleaning of the work and repairs to deep cuts. The perfectly executed intervention led to the full recovery of the work’s chromatic and volumetric values.
The Italian Ambassador in Japan, Giorgio Starace, said: “The restoration, carried out by Studio Restauri Formica in Milan and supported entirely by Prada, has restored to its original beauty the work by Enrico Castellani, White Surface (Superficie bianca), which we are honoured to keep at the Embassy. This is a very successful example of collaboration between Italian institutions and a large business that is highly sensitive to the artistic and cultural heritage of our country: Prada. My most sincere gratitude goes to Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli. I am also grateful to the President of the Enrico Castellani Foundation, Lorenzo Wirz Castellani, for attending our event today and for his
invaluable support over the past few months.”
Lorenzo Wirz Castellani, President of the Enrico Castellani Foundation, said: “I am particularly grateful to all those who have contributed to the success of this important recovery project. I was greatly moved to see Enrico Castellani’s work before the restoration and then to be able to admire it again once the work was completed. I am particularly pleased that others can now enjoy the exceptional textured surface, and that this unique work of art is again on display at the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo, especially given that my father had links to Japan going back to the early sixties, renewed by the conferment of the Praemium Imperiale for Painting in 2010, and further confirmed today.”
Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada Group, said: “I enthusiastically accepted the proposal of Ambassador Starace to support the restoration of this important painting by one of the most emblematic Italian artists of our time, to whom I was bound not only by admiration for his work, but also from a personal friendship. Contributing to the restoration of this work was not only an opportunity to recover an important testimony to the artistic heritage of Italy, but also to pay tribute to the memory of a friend.”
The Embassy of Italy in Tokyo and the Prada Group celebrated the return of White Surface (Superficie bianca) to its original location with a presentation event for the work, which was attended by representatives of the worlds of art, culture, business, fashion and international diplomacy.