Save the Saint with us. A crowd-funding campaign to safeguard Italian-American cultural heritage

Apr 03, 2015 1521

New York and Milan, two important cities, divided by an ocean yet so alike in the respect for culture, food and love of the arts. A new project, Save the Saint, is bringing the two closer by revealing an extremely interesting element of shared history.

Save the Saint is a crowd-funding campaign launched by International Patrons of Duomo di Milano ( on the platform (, in collaboration with Eataly NYC which is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition called 'Eataly per Duomo'. The expositions showcases, for the first time in U.S. history, original architectural elements that were temporarily removed from the Duomo and that can now be found in Eataly's New York store (October 2014-May 2015).

The campaign Save the Saint was created and brought to the US public through International Patrons of Duomo di Milano, a charitable NYC-based organization, established in 2014, whose mission is to raise awareness towards the necessities of the Duomo. It aims is to collect donations to support the conservation, protection, restoration and valorization of the Cathedral.

International Patrons of Duomo di Milano is dedicating to its American supporters one of the 135 spires of the Milanese Cathedral, specifically the one that holds the statue of the first American Saint, Frances Xavier Cabrini. This is a unique opportunity to help in the shared cause of preserving invaluable heritage that is in need of continuous restorations to shine for future generations. By donating to this project, therefore, individuals will be contributing to the overall preservation of the Cathedral, which belongs to the entire human kind.

The Duomo di Milano has been a great example and model of Italian culture for over 700 years. The numerous activities and spaces of the Cathedral span from museums, archives, new suites with a breathtaking view of the famous Madonnina and international exhibitions. The Duomo di Milano is also a secular institution that has been successful in attracting people and contributors that are passionate about the work and achievements of the Cathedral. Therefore, participating in the Save the Saint campaign means being a part of a cultural model that is setting an example for the conservation of cultural heritage around the world.

Centuries before the advent of the Internet, the Duomo di Milano represented an extraordinary example of crowdfunding involving from the humblest persons to kings and emperors, from artisans to great artists, from believers to non-believers, from the Milanese people to the travellers coming from every corner of the Earth.

All restoration operations are supervised by experts on the Cathedral and executed in the laboratory of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, the historical Italian institution charged with the conservation and enhancement of the Cathedral, since 1387. Furthermore, the Duomo is the only monument in the world to have direct access to a quarry for the supply of its construction material. The pink marble is sourced from the Candoglia quarry and used in all restorations of the Duomo. The quarry, as well as the restoration laboratory of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, can be visited upon request.

To bridge the gap between Milan and New York, The International Patrons of Duomo di Milano are dedicating a special part of the Cathedral to its American supporters. The history behind the statue of the first American Saint is a true testament to the shared values of these important cities. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini arrived in New York in 1889 from Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, in Lombardy (Northern Italy). During her first years in the United States, she worked with the Italian-American community and cared for orphans and the less fortunate while helping in the construction of schools and hospitals. She later went on to found the Catholic Institution of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to aid all Italian immigrants in New York. In her later years, she opened 67 more institutions in Chicago, Des Plaines, Illinois, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, Golden, Colorado, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Cabrini became an official American citizen in 1909 and the first American Saint in 1946. Her statue was later placed on the Duomo Cathedral in 1956, in remembrance of her sanctification. Since then, she has looked down upon the city of Milan from up high, bridging the gap between Italy and America, Milan and New York.

The crowd-funding campaign was launched in the US on March 3rd with the aim of raising $150,000 by April 30th 2015, of which more than a third has been already funded. What distinguishes the campaign is its modern approach to the subject. The campaign is aimed at a public who values the importance of the arts and who is open to innovative platforms and means of communication.
The campaign also offers the opportunity of being a part of what is considered one of the biggest open sky museum in the world - with over 3,400 statues built in the span of 7 centuries. With a $50 donation you can have your name engraved on a plate and placed nearby the spire of Saint Frances Cabrini.

When donating on, rewards will also include trendy and humorous graphic t-shirts that are hip and embrace the spirit of the campaign.

Arts Council and ARPANet, two entities dedicated to preserving culture and funders of, collaborate with International Patrons of Duomo di Milano on this campaign in order to accomplish its mission of safeguarding the Milanese Cathedral for generations to come. is a crowd-funding platform dedicated to safeguarding Italian culture, the heritage of the whole world. With this campaign, strives to raise awareness in the Italian-American community as well as invites all American and Italian residents in the US to value and protect their common roots. Save the Saint was thus born through the union and know-how of and International Patrons of Duomo di Milano.

The mission of International Patrons of Duomo di Milano is to raise international public awareness towards the necessities of the Duomo, symbol of Milan throughout the world, by collecting donations to support the conservation, protection, restoration and valorisation of the Cathedral. This non-profit was established in 2014 under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code with the aim of ensuring the preservation and safeguard of the Cathedral of Milan.


For Italy is a crowd-funding platform exclusively dedicated to preserving Italian heritage. Thanks to For Italy, it is possible to make contributions to help maintain and protect the heritage of Italy in terms of art and culture. Join the campaigns of For Italy and become associated with the greatest Italian masterpieces. As highlighted by Federica Olivares, Italian art publisher: "the challenge of this platform answers a real need: it creates a virtual place where all the lovers of Italy and its excellences, wherever in the world, can take part in tangible projects to bring into the future of mankind the Italian artistic and cultural heritage".

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