The Italian Red Cross and Cittadellarte: two organisations which may seem distant from each other to the eyes of those who know them superficially, as they are engaged in apparently different fields. In reality, a closer look reveals how the affinities are deeper than one might imagine, rooted in common goals that differ only in form. To ground these reflections, we need to take a step back to December 2018, when the collaboration between the Italian Red Cross and Cittadellarte / Michelangelo Pistoletto started. Two roads that joined into a common path towards a responsible transformation of society and an education to peace. To seal this collaboration, the Biella-born artist designed a new version of his Third Paradise to include the key words of the seven principles that inspire and animate the work of the Italian Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Volunteering, Unity and Universality. The two organisations then began working together on the Art of Care*: a project aimed at easing people’s both physical (Red Cross) and relationship/emotional (Cittadellarte) sufferings in an unusual combination of science and art.
Over the years, several projects relating to the initiative have been organised and developed (all the details can be found in our previous articles), and the Red Cross has recently commissioned a new work of art which has been installed on the new roundabout at the intersection of Corso Francia and Via Giordanengo in Cuneo, in front of the Red Cross headquarters, and contains the seven fundamental principles of the international movement, as per Pistoletto’s design. The installation, which completes the roundabout created in recent months as part of the road works along the main axis of the city, has been donated by the Provincia Granda’s Red Cross Committee to the municipality of Cuneo. Cittadellarte has instead contributed by drafting the necessary drawings and renderings, while the work has been financed by the Red Cross, with the municipality providing the power line and the concrete base.
“The work not only looks great on an aesthetic level, but also has a profound meaning on a conceptual level,” said Livio Chiotti, president of the Provincia Granda’s Red Cross Committee, pictured above, “it is important for us that the seven principles by which we are inspired in our service are shown. Despite the fact that it has only been completed for a few days, many people have already asked me for details about the work and have told me that they did not know, until then, the key words of the Red Cross. The process of knowledge that the installation has triggered is very important. Its mere size is impressive; the installation on the roundabout is noticeable both coming from the town centre and from the suburbs. On a clear day, you can also see the Monviso in the background of the Third Paradise”.
The work will be officially unveiled in the spring of 2023 and will soon be completed with specific red illuminations, recalling the colour characterising the institution. And that’s not all: “In the event of celebrations of national importance in our territory,” Chiotti concluded, “we will be able to illuminate the work with the colours of the Italian flag”. What in 2018 was a sketch by Pistoletto on a sheet of paper has now not only become a symbol of the collaboration between the Red Cross and Cittadellarte, but also an installation that seals unity of intentions and common goals. The pact of collaboration between Fondazione Pistoletto and the Italian Red Cross has become even tighter.