Aiming to “overturn beauty with ugliness,” Fendi chairman Pietro Beccari commissioned Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone to create art that symbolizes Rome’s artistic tradition. The sculpture, called Foglie di Pietra or Leaves of Stone, is Fendi’s way of saying thanks to Rome where the world-renowned fashion house has opened their first shop in 1925.
According to Baccari, the Fendi brand “is 100 percent made in Italy” that is why he changed the packaging logo of the brand to Fendi Roma back in 2012. The sculpture also fittingly suits its new home. The Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, a Mussolini-era building in the Roman suburb of Eur, has since been restored since the brand has established their presence back in Italy. Now, more than 100,000 guests from all over the world graze its ground floor for fashion shows and exhibitions.
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Talking about the sculpture, Penone says that trees are “something solid, but in reality, it is fluid in its growth, and thus malleable, interacting with the environment.” The two bronze trees carrying an 11-ton block of white marble is a humble nod to Roman’s rich history of architecture.