On 22 November 2021, the Director’s Meeting elected the Board of Directors for the two-year period 2022 - 2023 as follows:
Riccardo Bacarelli, Bruno Botticelli, Roberto Campobasso, Pietro Cantore, Alessandro Cesati, Alessandra Di Castro, Marco Longari, Dario Mottola,
Walter Padovani, Tomaso Piva and Maria Novella Romano.
At the meeting of 29 November 2021, the Directors appointed Bruno Botticelli as Chairman of the Association, Alessandra Di Castro as Vice-chairman, Marco Longari as Vice-chairman; Walter Padovani as Secretary General, and Pietro Cantore as Treasurer.
“It is an honour to have been appointed Chairman of our Association by the Meeting, and one that I accept with a great sense of responsibility. My thanks go to Alessandra di Castro and all the former Chairpersons, Enrico Frascione, Carlo Orsi, Giovanni Pratesi and those who preceded them, the Council, the Secretariat and above all the Members, our backbone. The real strength of Antiquarians is their love and profound knowledge of their work and the experience gained in the field, assisted by a dynamic exchange with the world of research and studies. The recent presentation of the Nomisma survey on the related activities of the world of art, strongly supported by the Antiquarian Association together with all our partners in the Apollo project, with the important presence and interventions by the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, the Top Management of the Ministry of Culture, and General Riccardi, Commander of the Nucleus for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage, has shown how the profession of antiquarian is fundamental for the culture and economy of the country. The historical result is a permanent Institutional Table for the Circulation of Works of Art, which for the first time brings together the Ministry's top management, operators and experts in the sector of the search for shared solutions to make the market more "European" and compliant with the regulations. The need for a transition towards a European idea of antiques must however coexist with a specific and renewed attention to the absolute potential of Italian collecting. I believe that we must invest in meetings and conventions that all the players in this incredible mosaic can take part in, and which, like most of what surrounds us today, needs clear updates aimed at the new generations. We are fortunate to be antique dealers in Italy, the country that more than any other has art in its DNA. It is necessary to find new ways of exhibiting our works, of holding antiques exhibitions, and we need a more constant presence in a country where every single geographic area has a variety of museums and magnificent palaces set in a vital social fabric. In recent years, we have found ourselves shut indoors, glued to our computers and catalogues, but I believe that nothing can replace the quality of physical encounters and the ability to transmit our passions live. In these dizzyingly changed times, the digital revolution that allows photographs and information to travel in real time on electronic terminals, determines a change in every aspect of our work that requires a pragmatic and programmatic approach. In a multitude of proposals arriving from outside in a chaotic manner, we must communicate all our qualities with clear and simple messages. I believe that at this complex time, when the future is difficult to read, most of us are spending a large part of our time imagining what tomorrow will bring. I would like the Association to be the container for a common project, to demonstrate the relevance and strength of our magnificent work, set in the times we live in. The Associazione Antiquari d'Italia is an ideal ‘location,’ a precious instrument, a strong identity, a way of transforming our history into a key for the future.
The Italian Antiquarians Association (Associazione Antiquari d'Italia) was established on 10 October 1959, in a gesture intended to support and share the spirit and ideals of the Florence International Antiques Fair. The Fair is the feather in the cap of the Association, and over the years it has endeavoured to consistently raise the level of quality, identifying with the aims and ambitions of its members and succeeding in consolidating its status as one of the most authoritative events on the international scene. The objective was, first and foremost, to offer prestigious antiquarians an institution and an event in which they felt they had a voice and which was able to listen, understand and represent them beyond a market experienced at the time as a blurred and confused muddle.
In this sense both the Association and the Fair (which is on record as being the first antique art fair in the world) immediately made their mark, established as a model of quality and morality not only on the Italian scene but also on the international stage, like all the events that were to follow.
Fairness and clear perspectives are therefore the hallmark of the attitude that the Association has always had towards its members, both in the case of disputes – in which it plays a role of conciliation and mediation between the adversary parties – and in terms of supporting and protecting its members in the case of clearly prejudicial actions or measures.
Transparency in the trade of works of art is indeed one of the fundamental benchmarks of the Association, together with the severe prosecution of any unfair dealing or underhand expedients, which it has always staunchly fought against, even through legal measures: a stalwart and resolute stand in defence of antique art and the enhancement of its heritage.
Today, the Association numbers 160 antiquarians, belongs to the International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations (CINOA), is involved in the organisation of prestigious cultural events, sponsors lectures and conferences designed to foster and spread a knowledge of antiques and antique dealing. Finally, it also offers scholarships, awards and certificates aimed at stimulating the culture and knowledge of the heritage of antique art.