Intesa Sanpaolo to open fourth museum

Italian bank adds the Publifoto archive to its collection of 30,000 works of art as it announces the creation of a new museum.


Intesa Sanpaolo is to open a fourth museum – this time in Turin.

Development of the Palazzo Turinetti will provide a home for the Publifoto archive, a recently acquired collection of seven million photographs of notable events and people that spans 60 years from the 1930s to the 1990s.

The new Gallerie d’Italia will take around two years to build. Plans show that the building will occupy mostly underground space, accessed by a large staircase set in the courtyard of Palazzo Turinetti. This will include educational areas and restoration workshops.

The main floor of the 17th-century palace, commissioned by Giorgio Turinetti di Priero, banker of the Duchy of Savoy(1), will also feature works of art set amid its richly decorated rooms.

Proposals for the museum on Piazza San Carlo, one of Turin’s main squares, were revealed by Intesa Sanpaolo’s president emeritus Giovanni Bazoli, chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro and managing director and CEO Carlo Messina in the presence of the mayor of Turin Chiara Appendino. The project’s architect is Michele De Lucchi of AMDL CIRCLE.

The initiative is part of the “Progetto Cultura” – a three-year commitment by Intesa Sanpaolo to the promotion of art and culture in Italy that involves displaying the bank’s vast collection of cultural artifacts and works of art, including masterpieces by Caravaggio, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Boccioni, Fontana and Manzoni.

The bank’s collection is made up of 30,000 items dated between 1472 and 2006, around 1,000 of which are on permanent display. The group also owns more than 20 prestigious buildings. Recent acquisition of the Publifoto archive will add millions of photographs and thousands of videos to the bank’s collection and further its mission to present culture to the public.

The new museum will join existing ones in Milan, Naples and Vicenza that together make up the Gallerie d’Italia group. In 2019, they welcomed more than 500,000 visitors, including 84,000 children and teenagers. Gallerie d’Italia has partnered with leading global cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the National Gallery in London.


(1)Turin 1564-1680: Urban Design, Military Culture, and the Creation of the absolutist Capital by Martha D Pollak, page 125, Accessed through Google Books