In Verbania from the 22 to the 26 of June, forty art photos from the company's historic archives provide an account of the challenges faced by the men who went to great lengths to bring energy to their country

San Donato Milanese, 22 June 2011 – Forty art photos will be on show at the LetterAltura 2011 to be held in Verbania, at the Hotel "Il Chiostro" (via Fratelli Cervi, 14) between June 22 and June 26. This is Eni's contribution to the Festival which is now in its fifth year.
The Eni Historical Archive is a very important collection of material comprising 5 kilometres worth of documents, 500 thousand photographs and as many as 5,000 audiovisual products. The Archive contains a wealth of unpublished accounts of the men who wore the "six legged dog" symbol in difficult and, at times, extremely hazardous natural environments. At the LetterAltura Festival, Eni will present a series of art photos which will provide a narrative description of the search for oil that the company's men engaged in on the Zagros Mountains in Iran in 1958. These are quality photographs which powerfully depict the many challenges the company faced, and which were so important to Enrico Mattei that he decided to entrust their lasting documentation to one of the greatest masters of Italian photography, Federico Patellani.
In 1959, when production started at the Sequtah-1 oil well located at an altitude of 3300 metres those same mountain slopes, which but a few years earlier had been negotiated by technicians and geologists on the backs of donkeys, were then climbed by Federico Patellani along with the correspondents of the "Gatto Selvatico" (the in-house magazine run by Attilio Bertolucci). Each shot provides an account of the experience of the Eni men working side by side with the local populations, from Iran right through to the Sinai Mountains. 
The photographs feature other men but the philosophy, based on respect and collaboration is the same as that propounded by the founder Enrico Mattei.
From Sinai, Patellani's lenses turn their attention towards the mountains of Valle d'Aosta, Trentino and Piedmont, where the long journey ended. The appearance of the Eni service stations designed by Mario Bacciocchi, demonstrates how efforts were made to adapt their specific appearance to the local natural environment, and in accordance with the criteria of sustainable architecture.
Then there are the mountains of Borca di Cardore that provide the backdrop to the holiday resort for Eni employees built by Enrico Mattei. Enrico Mattei assigned the structural design to the architect Edoardo Gellner, providing a further illustration of the care he took over his workforce and its wellbeing.
These are timeless shots that are on show at the Hotel "Il Chiostro" which, on June 25th, in its "Monastery" halls, will also host the projection of the first episode of the film "The Petroleum Route" by Bernardo Bertolucci. Enrico Mattei had commissioned the director, who at the time was just twenty-three, with the task of narrating the journey made by the petroleum from its "origins" right through to Europe. The background of the long shots and aerial footage is dominated by the Zagros mountain range, while in the foreground the camera focuses on the gaunt faces of the men, racked by cold and effort, but in which one can detect the pride of these men withstanding the ordeals for a noble purpose - providing energy supplies to one's country.
There are many other "mountains" that have been climbed in Eni's history. Perhaps this is because etched in the company's DNA lies a passion for challenge, a tenacity and a will to overcome obstacles, even those that seem insurmountable.

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