Attention to art and culture is a priority element of the strategy that drives the community supporting activities. Progetto Cultura, a strategic reference framework containing the multi-year planning of the Bank's cultural initiatives, has several objectives. On the one hand, it aims to encourage use by an increasingly large public of its important artistic, architectural, publishing and documentary heritage, coming from the history and tradition of patronage of the financial institutions that have become part of the Group. On the other, it aims to contribute to safeguarding Italian cultural heritage. Promotion of the Bank's artistic heritage is implemented along various lines: study and scientific cataloguing of the works; restoration activity; museum projects creating permanent displays of a part of the collections; planning and organisation of temporary exhibitions; support of scholarships for training opportunities and the search for youth in collaboration with the Universities; loan of works to temporary exhibitions.
As regards exhibitions, "The Great War" has seen the involvement of the three museums of the "Gallerie d’Italia" of Milan (Art and artists on the front), Naples (Society, Propaganda, Consent) and Vicenza (Injured places and art). With more than 450 works exhibited globally, many of which have never been shown to the public, coming from more than 50 public museum institutions and 30 private collections, it provided an insight into the artistic themes of the historical period that preceded, comprised and followed the conflict and established itself as one of the most impressive initiatives proposed at the national level and on the scenario of the activities dedicated to the celebration of the centenary of the First World War.
The exhibition on Francesco Hayez at the "Gallerie d’Italia" of Milan entailed a display of about 120 works from about fifty public museums and thirty private collections, and is the most comprehensive and updated exhibition dedicated to the artist over the last thirty years.
The Galleries of Palazzo Leoni Montanari presented the exhibition “Dionysus. Myth, ritual and theatre", a new selection of Greek and Great Greek ceramics from the fifth and fourth centuries BC which are part of the Intesa Sanpaolo's collection.
The "Portrait of a Man", a masterpiece by Antonello da Messina, was displayed to the public at the Galleries of Palazzo Zevallos in Naples.
Also in 2015, the Gallerie d'Italia proposed many paths and initiatives dedicated to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups: free guided tours dedicated to people with visual impairment, Alzheimer's patients, people with cognitive disabilities, visits and educational workshops for immigrant mothers with their children, refugees from various backgrounds, pupils of primary schools in high social risk areas, with a focus on integration and intercultural inclusion initiatives (together with FAI). The Milan museum became part of the list of "accessible" regional museums and the museum staff participated in the “AccessibilMente" regional training programme in order to develop specific skills.
With reference to the educational commitment of Progetto Cultura, the Gallerie d'Italia have renewed the free offer to schools for cultural guided tours, which also include workshops and recreational activities. It is worth noting in particular, on the part of the Gallerie d'Italia - Palazzo Leoni Montanari, the activation of some courses dedicated to hospital schooling and the continuation of a series of proposals dedicated to families, including games and creative activities, as well as the thematic itineraries "Art and memory" dedicated to the elderly.
Of great importance was also the commitment to the promotion and preservation of national cultural heritage, developed for twenty-five years, with the Restituzioni Project, which to date has enabled the recovery of more than a thousand works preserved in our country with the involvement of competent public protection bodies as partners in the programme, along with local authorities, universities, academic departments, ministries, research institutions, to promote Italian excellence in the field of restoration. In the field of national cultural heritage protection of particular relevance is the radical restoration, financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, on the house where Alessandro Manzoni lived from 1813 to 1873, in Milan between Piazza Belgioioso and Via Morone.
The Historical Archive, with the aim of involving an increasingly wide audience - increasing both remote use and access to the study room - has opened a multimedia section and digital library and expanded the range of guided tours, lectures, professional seminars and conferences.
The cultural development objectives implemented by the Historical Archives were focused on accessibility goals (with a further enhancement of access to sources), enhancement and prevention of dispersion/new acquisitions (with extensive activities of protection of territorial inventory archives and restorations).
Work also continued for the acquisition of documents, photographs, videos and objects and also valuable private funds.
Equally significant is the work in the publishing and music industry, with the aim of spreading knowledge of the library assets and the various musical genres, also with targeted initiatives at educational level. Among the most important publishing projects, the multimedia Vox Imago series, dedicated to spreading the knowledge of opera, the historical and architectural study guides of the Group's historic sites and the “Musei e Gallerie di Milano” series, scientific cataloguing of the city's artistic heritage. As regards education, numerous courses were organised for disabled children and teenagers and study meetings open to the public.
In parallel to the Vox Imago series, since 2012 the Bank has supported an innovative educational project for teachers, which aims to introduce young people to opera with historical and musicological insights to be included in new interdisciplinary courses in the ministerial educational programming. The training project, which involved more than 600 teachers of lower and upper secondary schools in different cities, attained recognition from the Ministry of Education, University and Research in 2015.
In addition, a new editorial series was launched for young boys and girls in Italian and English, namely ArtèGioco, with a first publication devoted to Hayez, narrated and richly illustrated with the aim of making the younger audience more familiar with the Group's artistic heritage.
With the aim of contributing to a wider dissemination of musical culture, Intesa Sanpaolo’s support in favour of recognized entities and associations for the organization of festivals and concert seasons continued. These initiatives included programs and projects that ideally run through the different musical genres, from ancient, to classical up to contemporary, with a specific focus on education initiatives for the community.