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Bulgari and its many icons, from the Serpente to B.zero1

among the many exhibitions organized by Bulgari in 2021, often accompanied by major events, three were organized in Milan: in the year of the exit from the pandemic tunnel, the maison of the LVMH group, born in Rome in 1884, wanted to pay homage to city ​​and its newfound vitality starting from the art of jewelry. In May the exhibition of the great master of photography Paolo di Paolo dedicated to the city was inaugurated: Milano Fotografie 1956-1962; in September, on the occasion of the special Fuori Salone of the equally special Super Salone del Mobile, Bulgari enlivened the spaces of the Gam (Gallery of Modern Art) with the Metamorphosis exhibition, composed of four site-specific works by Ann Veronica Janssens, Azuma Makoto, Daan Roosegaarde and Vincent Van Duysen.

Telling the symbol of the snake and with the artistic direction of Alba Cappellieri (who has dedicated more than one book to Bulgari jewels), the exhibition combined the mysterious animal with the idea of ​​transformation, now more relevant than ever. In October, the snake was once again the protagonist in Piazza del Duomo, with a multimedia exhibition by Refik Anadol.

Serpenti Metamorfosi (which remained in Milan from 6 to 31 October) can be considered the greatest work based on artificial intelligence for a luxury brand, unique, immersive, multi-sensory and futuristic: Refik Anadol has used more than 200 million images of nature , 70 million of which of flowers. Three exhibitions, we could say, that have created a very solid path that crosses over 70 years of history of costume and society (the snake was introduced by Bulgari in 1949).

But there is perhaps an even more powerful image, which manages to create an even more solid and long bridge between the past and the future of the house, thanks to a Hollywood star and the evocative power of jewels. This is the photo taken of Elizabeth Taylor in 1962, while she was in Rome for the shooting of the film Cleopatra: on her wrist she was wearing a wonderful jewel watch in gold, diamonds and emeralds: the Serpenti by Bulgari. A model to which the maison paid tribute by presenting an even more precious version - the Serpenti Misteriosi Cleopatra - at the Watches & Wonders fair last April. It is in this intertwining between cities, Milan and Rome in particular, and between different countries and eras - and between people, of course - that the magic of Bulgari and its future lies.

Just today the new Bulgari Hotel opens in Paris, which Elizabeth Taylor would certainly have liked: the maison is the only one in the high-end segment to have consistently and successfully pursued diversification in hotels, starting from Milan (where the Magnifica high jewelery collection was presented in June, combined with a fashion show-event in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele). The Bulgari Hotel in Rome will also open in 2022 and by 2023 the seven “jewels” of the Bulgari Hotel & Resorts collection will be joined by Moscow, Tokyo, Miami and Los Angeles.

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