The EUI has long been working together with FAI, the National Trust for Italy, on the organisation and promotion of multiple activities and initiatives, including the Open Day at Villa Salviati, where the Historical Archives of the European Union are preserved, which took place on 7 May as part of this year’s edition of The State of the Union Conference.
There was no better time and place for EUI Secretary General Marco del Panta and Regional President of FAI Tuscany Rosita Galanti Balestri to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding that further consolidates the well-established partnership between the two institutions.
The new agreement reinforces the desire from both parties to continue their fruitful collaboration, particularly through the joint organisation and promotion of the FAI Days, a cultural event aiming to make accessible parts of the Italian artistic and cultural heritage that are usually closed to the wider public. FAI Days are a biannual initiative taking place across the country in March, with the FAI Spring Days, and in October, with the FAI Autumn Days.
Organised in Tuscany by the FAI Regional Presidency and supported by the European Commission, the FAI Days have already included in their past editions some of the most artistically and culturally significant buildings of the EUI premises, including the Robert Schuman Centre’s Villa Schifanoia, the Historical Archive’s Villa Salviati and the School of Transnational Governance’s Palazzo Buontalenti. During those days, visitors were received and guided by young FAI volunteers from local high schools who “narrated” the history and cultural relevance of each premise.
The EUI is delighted by the opportunity to share the beauty and artistic value of its campus with the local community. The partnership furthers this aim, and sets the stage for joint collaboration whereby the EUI will make its premises available during the FAI Days, involve its own members in EUI-FAI initiatives, and offer logistical support for the organisation of FAI events on the EUI campus.
Under the new agreement, EUI community members will also be able to actively take part in the events organised by the FAI Regional Presidency in Tuscany, including obtaining special access to other premises or monuments open during the FAI Days and the possibility for EUI members to register for FAI membership with a reduced fee.
FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano, the National Trust for Italy, is a non-profit foundation established in 1975 and based on the model of the National Trust for England, Waled & Northern Ireland. FAI’s purpose is to protect and enhance Italy's historical, artistic and landscape heritage which might otherwise be lost. More specifically, FAI takes care of special places in Italy for the benefit of present and future generations, promotes education, appreciation, awareness and enjoyment of the Nation’s environmental, natural, historic and artistic heritage, and monitors the protection of Italy’s natural and cultural assets.