Returned art: works confiscated from the mafia on display thanks to the CDP Foundation

Returned art: works confiscated from the mafia on display thanks to the CDP Foundation

An exhibition of works of art seized from the mafia and returned to the community. From 18 June to 28 July, the Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico in Lamezia Terme presents “Visioni Civiche - L'arte restituita. Dalle opere confiscate alle mafie al bene comune” (Civic Visions - Returned art. Works confiscated from the mafia to the common good): an exhibition organised thanks to the support of the CDP Foundation, which selected the project within the Ecosistemi culturali (Cultural Ecosystems) call for tenders, and produced by Fondazione Trame in collaboration with the MetaMorfosi Association, under the patronage of the Ministry of the Interior.

The exhibition, curated by Professor Lorenzo Canova, is part of the activities planned during the Lamezia event Trame - Festival dei libri sulle mafie (Trame - Festival of books on the mafia), which features a wide selection of works of art confiscated from a number of criminal organisations active in Italy and currently held by the Agenzia dei Beni Confiscati, the Italian Agency for Confiscated Assets, and by the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria. The works also include some of those seized from the so-called “king of video poker”, mafia boss Gioacchino Campolo, already exhibited at Palazzo Crupi in Reggio Calabria, and those seized in 2010 from Gennaro Mokbel, a financier with ties to the Banda della Magliana (the “Magliana Gang”), never before shown to the public.

An exhibition consisting of forty-four works, including those of some of the greatest masters of the twentieth century and several emerging ones, ranging from painting to sculpture, and installations or multi-media works. The artists showcased include Giorgio de Chirico, Antonio Ligabue, Paul Kostabi, Michele Cascella, Michele Cassinari, Cesare Berlingeri, Massimo Catalani, Luca Dall’Olio, Marco Lodola, Max Marra, Paolo Porelli, Pietro Annigoni, Franz Borghese and Bruno Caruso.

With the support of the Cultural Ecosystems call for tenders, launched in July 2023 by the CDP Foundation to promote initiatives to enhance cultural and landscape heritage in municipalities with less than 100,000 inhabitants, the exhibition has multiple objectives: on the one hand, to keep attention focused on the dangerous nature of the mafia and its activities, which also involve apparently unrelated sectors such as the market for works of art, used to diversify its investments through money laundering; on the other hand, to enhance Italy’s artistic and cultural heritage, allowing it to be enjoyed easily and openly by all citizens.


“For over ten years now, Trame - Festival dei libri sulle mafie has been a key event for the promotion of art and culture not only in Calabria, but for the entire country. At the CDP Foundation, we are proud to have added an important component to the event this year, contributing to the realisation of this exhibition. This event will allow visitors from around the world to enjoy priceless works by some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, which have long been in the hands of organised crime. The exhibition was realised thanks to the Cultural Ecosystems call for tenders, which supports initiatives aimed at enhancing the artistic and cultural heritage in ten Italian regions, five of which in Southern Italy. We hope that this type of collaboration can be repeated for other communities in our country as well,” said CDP Foundation Director Francesca Sofia.