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To mark the first anniversary of BeIT, a global campaign celebrating all things “Made in Italy,” the Consulate of Italy in Detroit today relaunched its LoveITDetroit metaverse to host a world-first free exhibition of modern Italian art.
The virtual gallery showcases 13 paintings from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Rome. When entering the LoveITDetroit metaverse, visitors create an avatar that then enables them to walk through the gallery, which is based on a design by world-famous architecture firm Palomba Serafini. Art lovers can zoom in closely on individual paintings, providing a truly immersive experience and the ability to explore artworks in greater detail than in a real-world gallery.
“The Consulate of Italy in Detroit is believed to be the world’s first government entity to have its own metaverse, so we’re excited to launch the world’s first metaverse art show to be hosted by a government entity,” said Paola Allegra Baistrocchi, the Consul of Italy in Detroit. “Our Consulate’s broader goals include highlighting a more contemporary and technological Italy, of which modern art and metaverse technology are perfect examples.”
The 13 artworks on display in the LoveITDetroit metaverse are (alphabetically by artist): Carla Accardi, “Composizione” (“Composition”), 1950; Giacomo Balla, “Insidie di guerra” (“Pitfalls of War”), 1915; Alighiero Boetti, “Per un uomo alienato” (“For an Alienated Man”), 1968; Alberto Burri, “Grande rosso P. N. 18” (“Big Red P. N. 18”), 1964; Giuseppe Capogrossi, “Superficie 290” (“Surface 290”), 1958; Giorgio de Chirico, “Piazza d’Italia con statua” (“Italian Square With Statue”), 1937; Cagnaccio Di San Pietro, “La ragazza e lo specchio” (“The Girl and the Mirror”), 1932; Giosetta Fioroni, “Ragazza TV” (“TV Girl”), 1964; Lucio Fontana, “Concetto spaziale” (“Spacial Concept”), 1961; Renato Guttuso, “Autoritratto” (“Self-Portrait”), 1942; Gastone Novelli, “Il grande linguaggio” (“The Great Language”), 1963; Mimmo Rotella, “Mitologia 3” (“Mythology 3”), 1962; and Emilio Vedova, “Scontro di situazioni n. 4” (“Clash of Situations n. 4”), 1959.
Founded in 1883, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea is Italy’s only national museum dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary art. With more than 20,000 works including paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, the gallery offers a broad view of art from the nineteenth century to the present day.
“It’s wonderful that modern technology allows us to share great Italian modern art with art lovers not only in Detroit but across the U.S.,” added Baistrocchi. “When you’re not in Rome, the LoveITDetroit metaverse is the next best thing. Our Consulate is grateful to Galleria Nazionale Director Cristiana Collu and her team for this world-first collaboration.”
Collu said: “’What is real, how do you define real?’ Morpheus asks Neo in a crucial scene of ‘The Matrix’, while in the same movie a copy of Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 book ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ is shown. The hyperreal metaverse, with its digital and immersive capabilities, offers an opportunity to live experiences that are not only simulated, but also the chance to imagine a surprising world full of possibilities in real life.”
BeIT – the first nation-branding campaign ever created for Italy – was launched in Nov. 2021 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency. The global initiative has a particular focus on 26 countries, including the U.S.
“We’re proud to work with the Consulate of Italy in Detroit in bringing metaverse technology to the BeIT campaign,“ said Franco Bevione, CEO of WEDOO LLC, the digital transformation company that built the LoveITDetroit metaverse. “The metaverse was a great success for the Consulate during Detroit Month of Design, which took place during September. Now, it’s exciting to relaunch the metaverse version 2.0 as a dedicated and unique art gallery, the likes of which hasn’t been experienced before.”
To access the free virtual exhibition, which runs from Oct. 27 to Dec. 1, 2022, use your laptop or desktop to visit: https://www.loveitdetroit.com.