The mission of Save Venice is to protect the cultural patrimony of the city by raising funds to restore its monuments and works of art. Save Venice also values its educational mission to teach people about the culture and history of Venice through publications, educational trips, tours, lectures and events with themes pertaining to Venice’s history and festivals.

Save Venice, Our History and Mission

Save Venice Inc., based in New York with an office in Venice and chapters in Boston and California, has raised more than $25 million to restore the art and architecture of Venice, Italy. Every year, the Board of Save Venice, including a Projects Committee of renowned international experts in the fields of art, history, conservation, and preservation, selects restoration projects in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Culture based on artistic merit, historical importance, and urgency of need. Save Venice has numerous restorations underway throughout the city, made possible with support from individuals, foundations, and corporations who believe in a universal responsibility to preserve the world’s irreplaceable artistic and cultural treasures found in Venice.

Save Venice Inc. was established in response to the serious damage caused by the November 1966 floods – the highest tide in Venice in the last century. More than thirty international committees were formed under the administrative umbrella of UNESCO to restore and preserve the priceless and irreplaceable cultural heritage of Venice.

Originally the Venice Committee of the International Fund for Monuments, Save Venice became an independent, charitable organization in 1971. The founders were an extraordinary trio: John McAndrew (1904–78), Professor of Art History at Wellesley College; his wife, Betty Bartlett McAndrew (1906–86); and Sydney J. Freedberg (1914–97), Chairman of the Department of Art at Harvard and Chief Curator Emeritus of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Their successors, now spread across the United States and the globe, have made Save Venice by far the largest and most active committee preserving the cultural patrimony of Venice.

Each year, the Superintendents for the Artistic and Historic Heritage of Venice and for the Architectural Heritage of Venice, along with church leaders, museum curators, interested citizens, and friends of Save Venice suggest works of art and buildings in need of restoration. The board of Save Venice then chooses which projects to sponsor according to artistic merit and urgency of need. The conservation treatments are carried out by carefully selected restorers in Venice, and the restorers’ work is supervised both by the Superintendency and by Save Venice representatives. This attention to detail assures that donations are tracked at each step of the restoration process and are used wisely.

Why Should Americans Save Venice?

We are often asked why Americans should help restore art works belonging to the Italian government. The answer is that the Italians only hold these treasures in trust for all of us who descend from the Renaissance, and it is our shared responsibility to do what we can to help.

When we came to the New World, we did not renounce our cultural heritage. It is an essential part of who we are. It is one of the title deeds to our civilization. We do not want to see it deteriorate and disappear.

Per capita, Italy spends ten times more to preserve its patrimony than the United States. Its restorers are the most skillful in the world. They are extraordinarily dedicated to their work. They are tireless workers. They are paid a pittance. In Venice, Save Venice knows and loves them all.

Yet, there are too many treasures residing in Italy for the Italians to protect. The cost is simply too great. The Old World must look to the New for help. If it is not forthcoming, we will all see the treasures of our heritage fade. If they are gone, we will remember them as they were, but our children and theirs will only see them in books.

When we look on Titian’s The Presentation of the Virgin, we know that as long as that painting lives, the human spirit will never die. The Dark Ages are never far from us so it is up to all of us to preserve the light.

– Randolph H. Guthrie, Chairman Emeritus

Save Venice, Our History and Mission

Save Venice Inc., based in New York with an office in Venice and chapters in Boston and California, has raised more than $25 million to restore the art and architecture of Venice, Italy. Every year, the Board of Save Venice, including a Projects Committee of renowned international experts in the fields of art, history, conservation, and preservation, selects restoration projects in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Culture based on artistic merit, historical importance, and urgency of need. Save Venice has numerous restorations underway throughout the city, made possible with support from individuals, foundations, and corporations who believe in a universal responsibility to preserve the world’s irreplaceable artistic and cultural treasures found in Venice.

Save Venice Inc. was established in response to the serious damage caused by the November 1966 floods – the highest tide in Venice in the last century. More than thirty international committees were formed under the administrative umbrella of UNESCO to restore and preserve the priceless and irreplaceable cultural heritage of Venice.

Originally the Venice Committee of the International Fund for Monuments, Save Venice became an independent, charitable organization in 1971. The founders were an extraordinary trio: John McAndrew (1904–78), Professor of Art History at Wellesley College; his wife, Betty Bartlett McAndrew (1906–86); and Sydney J. Freedberg (1914–97), Chairman of the Department of Art at Harvard and Chief Curator Emeritus of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Their successors, now spread across the United States and the globe, have made Save Venice by far the largest and most active committee preserving the cultural patrimony of Venice.

Each year, the Superintendents for the Artistic and Historic Heritage of Venice and for the Architectural Heritage of Venice, along with church leaders, museum curators, interested citizens, and friends of Save Venice suggest works of art and buildings in need of restoration. The board of Save Venice then chooses which projects to sponsor according to artistic merit and urgency of need. The conservation treatments are carried out by carefully selected restorers in Venice, and the restorers’ work is supervised both by the Superintendency and by Save Venice representatives. This attention to detail assures that donations are tracked at each step of the restoration process and are used wisely.

The mission of Save Venice is to protect the cultural patrimony of the city by raising funds to restore its monuments and works of art. Save Venice also values its educational mission to teach people about the culture and history of Venice through publications, educational trips, tours, lectures and events with themes pertaining to Venice’s history and festivals.