The bust that portrays Giovanni II Cornaro (Corner), one hundred and eleventh doge of the Republic of Venice was found at an auction, bought by a consortium of Venetian entrepreneurs and donated to the region. The marble work, of considerable artistic value, had disappeared in the nineteenth century from Ca ‘Corner in San Polo and its traces had been lost. Having reappeared on the antiques market, the bust was delivered to the Region by Marco Michielli, by the Venetian Hoteliers Association, through the President Vittorio Bonacini, and by the Committee for the recovery of the bust, represented by Professor Antonio Scipioni, after the acquisition following a an auction in Viterbo on June 24th.
“Today an important piece of Venetian and Venetian history, after centuries, returns to the city it was destined for and from which, in dark times, it was taken away. Thanks to the sensitivity and love for culture of a group of Venetians, our whole community regains a precious testimony of the Serenissima, a common denominator in the traditions, cultural expressions and identity of all Venetians.
On behalf of the whole Region, I express my gratitude for a true act of love. The work will remain on display at Palazzo Balbi and we undertake not to let her leave Venice anymore ”. With these words, the president of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaira, underlined the gift
“In this gesture – added the Governor – there is all that Venetian spirit that in the past has made the model of the Serenissima great. Men and women of doing things, who feel part of a community and choose to take action for it in the first person.
Here, no one thought of creating an opinion or protest movement to get the institutions to recover the work. There is, however, a consortium in which everyone voluntarily and responsibly put his hand to his wallet so that everyone can regain possession of a historical piece of their life as a people. Thus, the bust bears witness to an illustrious past but also a present with a high civic sense “.
Doge Giovanni II Corner, born in 1647, ruled the Serenissima from 22 May 1709 to 12 August 1722. He was the protagonist of the victorious war of Corfu against the Turks, in 1716, the last great victory of the secular Republic to celebrate which Antonio Vivaldi composed the famous Juditha Triumphans, for many the only true hymn of the Serenissima. Furthermore, his dogado is also remembered for the formalization of the use of the wig in parade clothing, also used by all his successors.