• For over three years, the Pirelli Group and the Triennale di Milano have belonged to an institutional partnership
  • Partnership with the Fondazione Peggy Guggenheim foundation in Venice
  • The Group’s partnership with the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum, dating back more than ten years
  • The Group has long been a member of the FAI-Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Environmental Trust for Italy)
  • In Brazil, the company exhibits and supports:
    Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP)
    Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM)
    Italian Cinema Week
  • In Mexico Pirelli sponsored the film 21 Dias and in Romania sponsored the “Masca Theatre” and the Festival Italiano

Active support for art, and cultural initiatives in general, are part of the Group’s tradition. Company support for art now takes the form of collaboration with some of the biggest international institutions. For over three years, the Pirelli Group and the Triennale di Milano have belonged to an institutional partnership for the systematic and shared analysis of strategies that promote “design culture” and “product culture.” This is an alliance between two of the most important historic institutions in Milan: the Triennale – one of the most important institutions in Italy in the field of visual arts and architecture – is profoundly Milanese by birth but now, like Pirelli, has a strong international vocation. The Pirelli Group in turn is one of the firms that has contributed the most to the growth and development of graphics in the international field. The Triennale is the institutional symbol of graphic culture.

Other international partnerships with great artistic institutions include the partnership with the Fondazione Peggy Guggenheim foundation in Venice. Thanks in part to this support in 2010, the Guggenheim Collection received 332,375 visitors during its 312 museum opening days, with an average daily attendance of 1,065 visitors. In addition to these visitors, there were 5,459 students and 417 teachers who participated in the museum education programme “A scuola di Guggenheim” (At school with Guggenheim), the 1,300 children from the Sunday “Kids Day” workshops, the 11,600 persons who visited the collection during exhibit openings, special visits, institutional and private events, for a grand total of over 350,000 visitors.

Aside from previously mentioned cited base requirements of authoritativeness and prestige, the support given by Pirelli to a cultural project must consider the consistency of that project with the Group's core business. In other words, it must respond to the Group’s vocation to innovate, promote research, develop new technologies and invest in young people. The Group’s partnership with the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum, dating back more than ten years, is emblematic of the vocation to innovate. Moreover, it is not limited to financing an extremely important series of restoration projects but has also led to the development of an innovative, highly advanced restoration technology implemented in the apparatus designed by Ettore Sottsass, which enables gallery visitors to view the lengthy restoration of an art work.

The distance between art and support for the environment is short. The Group has long been a member of the FAI-Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Environmental Trust for Italy), with which it has collaborated on various initiatives, including the organisation of art and architectural history courses for the public. Under its auspices, 30 lessons on the masters of the Italian Renaissance were offered in 2010, and dedicated to Leopoldo Pirelli. The events organised at FAI sites also enjoyed great success: cultural encounters, market exhibits and musical events dedicated to the environment attracted about 73,000 visitors all over Italy, aged from 18 to 60.

The comprehensive approach of Pirelli to culture is also realised in its collaboration in the fields of theatre and music. In 2009 Pirelli renewed its historic ties with the Teatro Franco Parenti, a theatre founded in 1996, when the Group decided to participate in the creation of the Fondazione Pier Lombardo. This foundation was established to support the growth of one of the most active, firmly rooted theatres in Milanese cultural life.

The participation of Pirelli, as supporting partner, at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, confirms the Group’s focus on local culture topics. The partnership between Pirelli and the Piccolo Teatro dates back to 1947, when Pirelli became a supporting member of the first permanent public theatre in Milan. The Piccolo Teatro is now an internationally recognised institution, travelling on tour to 37 countries, giving performances in 20 different languages. Between 1999 and 2010, a total of 3,657,825 spectators attended 9,759 performances in Italy and around the world. Of these spectators, a little less than 2 million were young people between the ages of 3 and 26. A total of 3,229 artists, set designers, costume designers and directors contributed to this success.

The “Milano ‘900” course was held between April and June 2010. It offered ten free lessons dedicated to the most important events that marked the history of Milan in the 20th century. Conceived by the publisher Laterza Agorà with the support of Milanese sponsors including Pirelli, the “Milano ‘900” course attracted over 8,000 spectators to its venue at the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Pirelli promotes culture elsewhere in the world as a key value of society. In Brazil, the company exhibits one of the most important collections of photography at the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP), and supports the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM), one of the most important exhibition centres on the whole continent. In 2010, the Group was dedicated to the promotion of national culture in Brazil, through sponsorship of the Italian Cinema Week, and the performance Mambo Italiano at a theatre in São Paulo. Giving additional support to film, the Group made three donations of mobile cinema (“Cineco”) with collections of 150 DVDs: the first at an educational centre, the second at a communal living centre and the third at asugar cane processing plant. Also in Brazil, Pirelli financed another theatrical work, entitled Tempo de Comédia.

In Mexico Pirelli decided to give prominence to film culture, in this case sponsoring the film 21 Dias for promoting local culture. In Romania the Group collaborated with the city of Slatina with the sponsorship of a new theatre, as part of the project “Masca Theatre.” In Romania it participated in the promotion of Italian culture, supporting the Festival Italiano in 2010 with the Italian Embassy in Bucharest, and an economic forum with the association of Italian companies in Romania.

Music is another key value for Pirelli, not only in Italy. In the United Kingdom, it sponsored a Christmas concert, and the “Concerto Dante Alighieri” of Italian music in Mexico. In Argentina the Group hosted the 20th edition of a classical music concert, “Italia Canta en Merlo.” On occasion of the celebrations for its 100th anniversary in Argentina, the 102nd anniversary for the famous Teatro Colon, reopened after a major restoration, and the 200th anniversary of this great South American nation, Pirelli financed a magnificent tour of musicians from the Teatro alla Scala of Milan in Buenos Aires with a concert version of Verdi’s Aida. Music is also supported in Brazil through a variety of means: from concerts of large international orchestras in the programme Mozarteum Brasileiro, to those of the Orchestra Brasiliana dell’Auditorio dell’Ibirapuera, and finally the project “Opera na Escola” for public schools in São Paulo, the staging of “Os Boemios de Adoniran” and the Projeto Guri for teaching music to disadvantaged children.