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Ceramiche Marca Corona S.p.A., the oldest ceramics manufacturer in Sassuolo and today a member of Gruppo Concorde, operative in Italy and worldwide with ceramic collections of superb quality and prestige, has officially opened the Marca Corona Gallery, featuring a collection of the artistic ceramics produced since the company’s foundation in 1741 until the mid-1900s.

The Marca Corona Gallery illustrates the importance today of one of the most prestigious Italian ceramics brands, offering a reconstruction of its centuries-long history, to which the company’s present is inextricably linked. During the 20th century, "Ditta Carlo Rubbiani" first became "Società Anonima Ceramica di Sassuolo", then, in 1935, "Società Anonima Ceramiche Marca Corona", and finally Ceramiche Marca Corona S.p.A., which over the years has continued to collect and catalogue ceramic arts objects from the company’s industrial past.

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The Gallery is conceived as a multimedia museum in which visitors can not only admire objects from the splendid collection of ceramics, but also place them in their proper historical context, thanks to the exhaustive video, photographic, written and interactive resources.

Designed by the Progettisti Associati firm, the Gallery is close to the company’s headquarters in Sassuolo, and offers a collection of the company’s "genetic ceramic heritage" from the mid-1700s up to the present, featuring the tableware and furnishing accessories of the early days alongside the street name and number plates and the decorated floor and wall tiles that form the history of the company’s current top-quality ranges.

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The Gallery’s origins lie in the "Fabbrica Rubbiani Museum", set up in the 19th century in the residential building next to the factory in the Contrada del Borgo area. From its foundation, the collection featured fine Sassuolo ceramics, enriched with pieces from Faenza and other areas in Italy traditionally known for ceramic manufacture, such as Casteldurante, Castelli, Pesaro, Savona, Carpi and Modena. In this historical overview of styles, pride of place was given to pieces from the old "Fabbrica della Majolica" in Sassuolo.

The original intent, which remains such today, was to create a prestigious testament to the historical heritage of ceramic manufacturing in Sassuolo, so that – in the words of Federico Argnani, the first academic to study the collection – every client could understand how the present teams with the past in today’s products, thanks to a smooth, solid entrepreneurial and artistic evolution, "testifying to the importance of the Fabbrica della Majolica and honouring it for posterity".

The Marca Corona Gallery captures and preserves the spirit of the local area, which is an integral part of the success of Sassuolo’s ceramic industry, taking up the baton of a history unique not only to the ceramic district, but indeed unmatched in Italy and worldwide.

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Marca Corona has dedicated the Gallery to the sadly missed Chairman of Gruppo Concorde, Professor Cirillo Mussini, who understood its value and safeguarded its integrity.

The official opening will take place on Friday 8 October 2010 at 10.00 a.m., at the company headquarters in Via Emilia Romagna 7, Sassuolo (Modena). The programme will be as follows:

• 10.15 a.m. – START
A welcome speech by Marca Corona S.p.A. Chairman Ivano Chiletti. Speech by Luca Mussini, Chairman of Gruppo Concorde S.p.A.

• 10.30 a.m.
Historical and artistic presentation of the collection and the architectural project of the Gallery, by architect Vincenzo Vandelli.

• 11.00 a.m.
Speech by the architect Carla di Francesco, regional director of the Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Emilia Romagna.

• 11.15 a.m. - END

• 11.30 a.m.
Official opening ceremony and visit to the museum.

• 12.00 noon
Aperitif with buffet

The ceremony will be attended by the Mayor of Sassuolo, Luca Caselli, and the main local authorities.
After the inauguration, the Marca Corona Gallery will remain open for visits from the public on the occasion of the Fiere di Ottobre of the city of Sassuolo, on the Sundays 10, 17 and 24 October 2010, from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

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