With copies sent around the world, Florence’s bronze boar fountain, Il Porcellino, is one of the city’s most popular exports. On October 25, another bronze replica of the Porcellino was unveiled in Greenville, South Carolina. Contessa Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, founder of the Friends of Florence, and Rivers Hughes, founder of the Young Friends of Florence, presided over the ceremony.
‘It is our hope that Il Porcellino will make downtown Greenville even more dynamic by adding a unique and interactive aspect to art in public spaces,’ Hughes said at the ceremony, adding that Young Friends of Florence hopes to enhance the experience and understanding of different cultures through the accessibility of art in public places. Brandolini d’Adda received the Key to the City of Greenville at the unveiling ceremony, stating ‘Rivers Hughes’ vision and commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the arts will certainly create a dynamic new reality in Greenville.’
Friends of Florence founder Brandolini d’Adda started the nonprofit foundation in 1998 to raise money to protect Florence’s artistic legacy; since then the organization has raised significant funds for major restoration projects in Florence. Currently the group is restoring the Tribune in the Uffizi Gallery, constructed in the 1500s to display one of the first museum collections in the world.
Just as Brandolini d’Adda’s love for Florence was the inspiration for starting Friends of Florence, so was Hughes inspired to start Young Friends of Florence after living there as a young man. The mission of Young Friends of Florence, an independent student-run organization, is to promote an understanding and awareness of public art and to support the preservation of significant works of art in both the Greenville and Florence communities.
This is what makes the Porcellino in Greenville different from other exported boars: all the profits are being sent back to Florence for art restoration. The Young Friends of Florence is also supporting the restoration of The Young Bacchus, a first-century Greek marble statue from the original Medici Collection of Antiquities that is housed in the Tribune in the Uffizi Gallery. For more information on the Young Friends of Florence, e-mail email@example.com.