San Donato Milanese (Milan), 20 January 2011. The exhibition "Il cane a sei zampe" (The six-legged dog) moves to Florence from 22 January to 21 February 2011. The palace of Archivio di Stato (State Archive, via Giovine Italia 6) will host the exhibition which now moves to its eighth city after Rome (where it reached more than 40,000 visitors), Ravenna, Milan, Stresa, Mantua, Venice and Cortemaggiore.
"The six-legged dog" exhibition, produced by Eni’s Historical Archive, covers the history of the company through the four transformations of its celebrated logo created by Luigi Broggini in 1952. The entrance to the exhibition is free, from Monday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Images, original documents, carousels, memorabilia, corporate films and cartoons from Eni’s rich historical archive and private collections will guide visitors through the history of the company and bring to life some of the most important moments not only in the company’s history but also in the socio-economic development of Italy. The exhibition will also introduce visitors to the story of a man who had the courage to imagine the future: Eni’s founder Enrico Mattei.
A special section is dedicated to the history of the company’s logo and the 1952 competition set up in order to find the trademarks for the advertising of fuel and gas known as Cortemaggiore and Agipgas. Reconstructed through original documentation, the story debunks many myths related to the origin of "that six-legged dog, faithful friend of the four-wheeled man" – as Italian film director Ettore Scola successfully defined it – which came along many generations in more than half a century. The final part of the exhibition covers the present day, with an exclusive work, inspired by the six-legged dog, by the Israeli sand artist, Ilana Yahav, one of the leading protagonists of Eni’s new campaign, focusing on the promotion of emerging talent from a broad range of artistic disciplines.
The deep tie of Eni with Florence dates back to Mattei’s times and to his friendship with Giorgio La Pira, major of Florence from 1951 to 1957 and then again from March 1961 to 1964. In that multi-cultural environment, Enrico Mattei saw the roots of a model that could be also applied to Eni, with a special focus on expanding relations to sub-Saharan Africa. On his side, Giorgio La Pira saw Enrico Mattei as the “new man‘ able to be the mouthpiece of his principles in the social and economical environment.
The bailout of the so-called "Fonderia di ferro di seconda fusione", today known as Nuovo Pignone, is also linked to their friendship. The once-major industrial player in Florence had been purchased in 1946 by Snia with the aim of transforming it into a textile plant which could be easily overwhelmed by a strong international competition. Mr. La Pira convinced Mr. Mattei to purchase the company, thus saving it in extremis. The Nuovo Pignone turned out to be a strategic asset of the newborn Eni, also at international level, as seen in the occasion of the oil agreement with Soviet Union in 1960.