A Momentous Donation from a Small Town: Montefalco Sponsors the Restoration of a Renaissance Masterpiece for the Vatican Museums

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The Montefalco Consortium is among the members of the community of the small town in Italy's Umbria region to sponsor the restoration of an altarpiece by Renaissance Master Benozzo Gozzoli for the Vatican Museums

On July 15th, the mayor of the tiny municipality of Montefalco in Italy’s Umbria region was awarded the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic in recognition of her city’s significant contribution to Italian art: the city of Montefalco sponsored the restoration of an altarpiece painted by famous Italian Renaissance master Benozzo Gozzoli and housed in the Vatican Museums. This is, in a sense, the second time that Montefalco has given the gift of this work of art to the Vatican: the altarpiece, known as the “Madonna della Cintola,” was originally created by Benozzo Gozzoli for the Church of San Fortunato in Montefalco in 1450, and was donated to the Vatican in 1848 as a gesture of thanks to then Pope Pious IX for having granted Montefalco the status of City.

Montefalco Mayor Donatella Tesei underlined the importance of her city’s contribution in her acceptance speech: “This important and prestigious acknowledgement recognizes a great achievement carried forth with courage and determination thanks to a spirit of shared collaboration. Despite the great difficulties of our times, the ‘beautiful and good’ can be attained.”

The mayor is referring to the collaborative effort of the community of Montefalco, who donated all of the funds necessary to sponsor the restoration, which, among other institutions, included the Montefalco Consortium, the body responsible for the promotion and protection of the area’s wines. The motivation behind their efforts was simple and selfless: to restore a treasure that once belonged to their city to its original glory and to share its beauty with the Vatican and the world.

Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai Winery, a member of the Montefalco Consortium, summed up the importance of his community’s contribution, stating, “These are the kinds of initiatives that our country needs in order to reestablish that essential connection between community, economic development, and dedication to future generations.”

On Saturday, July 18th, the community celebrated the return of the “Madonna della Cintola” to Montefalco: it will be on display in the Museum of San Francesco until December 30th of this year.

About the Montefalco Consortium (Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco)

In 1981, wine producers in Montefalco joined together to create the Montefalco Consortium. This organization is responsible for coordinating with local producers and guiding them in both ongoing quality research and the promotion of the signature wines of their territory. The Consortium guarantees high standards of production, and promotes both Montefalco Sagrantino and Montefalco Rosso around the world. The Consortium’s main responsibilities are:

  •     Protection of the viticulture in the production zone and of te Montefalco denomination wines    
  •     Promotion of the Montefalco denomination wines
  •     Oversight to prevent abuse, fraud, or irregular use of the Montefalco denominations

For more information, please visit http://www.consorziomontefalco.it.

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