Ferrara, 11 October 2011 - Eni's touring exhibition "Il cane a sei zampe. Un simbolo tra memoria e futuro" (The six-legged dog: A symbol of the past and the future), comes to Ferrara - the fifteenth stage in the two years since its inauguration at the Vittoriano in Rome, in March 2010.
Ferrara is an area of great interest for Eni, not only because of the petrochemical plant that Eni acquired in the mid-1980s, but also for the presence of an integrated plant that produces both electricity and steam and the new power line connection to the national grid. In the area surrounding Ferrara, there is also the Casaglia geothermal power plant - managed through a joint venture with Enel Green Power - an interesting example of the production of zero emission renewable energy that uses the geothermal fluid to power the city's district heating system. Moreover, in this area, particularly in the past, Eni discovered significant gas fields at Tresigallo, Sabbioncello, Agosta, Tremotte and Manara, where the remains of a farmhouse called "Cavallina" have been preserved, where, in 1849, Garibaldi and Anita spent time while on the run from the Austrians and the Papal forces.
A special part of the exhibition is dedicated to Eni's recent activities in the area, which is documented with photographs of men and women at work, united by a common passion for and commitment to the development and wellbeing of society. Men and women similar to those chosen by Enrico Mattei, when the great project to create a big energy company, able to go beyond the national borders and engage as an equal with the producer countries, began to take shape. This was in 1952, a year before Eni was established, when Mattei had already understood the need to find a logo. The choice would fall on the six-legged dog, an evocative and fantastic symbol, rapidly able to attract the affections of millions of Italians. Today it is a symbol that is recognised around the world, and one that embodies respect, internationalism, research and innovation.
The exhibition, in the Sale dell'Imbarcadero at the Castello Estense, from 12 October to 2 November, is organised chronologically into three sections marking the major redesigns of the logo (1972, 1998, 2009) and features photographs and documents, drawn from the company's extensive historical archive, covering the whole of Eni's history.
From the provision of natural gas for industry to the important international agreements, from innovative service stations to the exploration of oil in foreign countries based on a relationship of equals and founded on mutual respect and cooperation with the producer countries, up until the recent breakthroughs and allowing the visitor to imagine the challenges of the future. The entire story is also illustrated with satirical cartoons, which also clearly show how profound the social and economic impact of Eni was and how it was perceived by public opinion. Special space is also given to the history of the company's symbol that was so strongly admired by the founder. There is also a reconstruction of the office of Mattei, where, along with the original furniture, there are reproductions of the works of the Ferrara artist Filippo De Pisis, from Eni's art collection, recently published by Mondadori Electa and now available to the wider public through national and international exhibitions.
De Pisis is without doubt the artist to whom Mattei, as a patron and knowledgeable art-lover - was closest, as he himself indicated when he talked about the painting Omaggio a Fattori - a work that took him back to the beginning of his professional life, where it all began. Indeed, the theme of looking back to the past was a constant feature of the philosophy of Eni's first chairman, so much so that, according to some, it was precisely the detail of the head looking backwards, a symbol of an awareness of one's roots as the basis for the development for the future, that made Mattei decide on the six-legged dog.
At the core of the exhibition, are the numerous objects and memorabilia bearing the symbol of the six-legged dog: from gadgets for motorists to both unusual and routine objects found in the basements of employees or from private collections in various parts of Italy.
This is an exhibition dedicated to a symbolic logo, made in Italy, that is still able to represent the culture of the company: an ability to imagine the future, sometimes, before others.