Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
The Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, with headquarters in Treviso in Palazzo Bomben and Palazzo Caotorta, was founded in the late 1980s by the Benetton family. Under its President Luciano Benetton and directed by Marco Tamaro, the Foundation relies on a permanent working group which, with the support of scientific committees composed of scholars and experts of international renown, carries out studies and research in the vast world of landscape and places, the history and culture of games and cultural heritage.
In the field of study and research of landscape, each year a place “particularly rich in nature, memory and invention” is the protagonist of the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens. In 2015 (the XXVI edition of this Prize awarded to a place, that the Fondazione established in 1990) the cultural campaign was dedicated to Maredolce-La Favara in Palermo, a site that testifies to the meeting of Arab and Norman civilizations. In previous editions the Prize has been awarded to places in Egypt, Switzerland, Finland, Syria, Benin, Iceland and, in 2014, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to two villages located on the plateau near Srebrenica, where two small communities came back to live and cultivate the land after the tragic conflicts of the 1990s. Other important annual appointments include International Landscape Study Days and workshops. Residential scholarships are also periodically granted.
The research and study of the history and culture of games constitutes a peculiar field, whose specific nature is internationally recognized by the scientific community as an area of excellence of the Foundation. Annually, the best three dissertations in the field of the history of games are awarded a scholarship. Central to the activity is the publication of the scientific journal ‘Ludica. Annali di storia e civiltà del gioco’, and the series by the same name.
Initiatives dedicated to studies and research in the field of cultural heritage are organized in various sectors: music, literature, theatre, cinema, and arts. Special projects include: Imago Mundi, the collection of small canvases promoted by Luciano Benetton; Treviso Urbs picta research; the Musica Antica in casa Cozzi project; the Navigare il territorio project for the reopening of the archaeological area of the ports of Claudius and Trajan. Within the context of stewardship of places and heritage falls the current restoration of the church of San Theonistus in Treviso, with the strong support of Luciano Benetton. The ancient building will be fully restored, becoming a cultural centre and exhibition space for the city.
The Foundation devotes special attention to schools. There are a number of on-going collaborations with public and private institutions, in particular with universities. One of the main fruits of these collaborations is the Project and national competition: Article 9 of the Constitution, designed to encourage young people to appreciate and safeguard Italian cultural, landscape and scientific heritage, organized by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Ministry for Education, in collaboration with the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foundation’s work is supported by the documentation centre, open to the public and articulated in the library, the collection of maps and archive, comprising over 60,000 volumes, 150 periodicals, 10,000 maps, 30,000 photographs. The centre is publicized and promoted during events and through the publication of periodicals, series of books and monographs arranged by the publishing office, which has been part of the Foundation since 1993, and has organized and published, to date, over a hundred titles, in the areas of the study of landscape, history of the Veneto region and history of games.