Brunello Cucinelli and the dream of the Universal Library that becomes reality

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Brunello Cucinelli is part of that category of enlightened entrepreneurs who look beyond. In addition to profit. Over the limits. In addition to time. And his latest project as a generous patron is dedicated to the thousand years to come, which stems from a specific question: “What can we do for future generations and years to come?”. The answer is inspired by none other than the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who considered building libraries like public granaries. Books as nourishment for the soulvehicles of learning, but also of eternity. An idea that will come to life in the Solomeo Universal Library, in an eighteenth-century villa in the medieval village, home to the company of the king of cashmere, which will host tomes from all over the world divided into specific disciplines: philosophy, architecture, literature and poetry, crafts. A thought that sprouted during the period of the pandemic, as he proudly told during the conference-flow of consciousness organized on the stage of the Piccolo Teatro Strehler in Milan, and which will materialize thanks to the Brunello and Federica Cucinelli Foundation, with the support of daughters and grandchildren.

Brunello Cucinelli with his niece Vittoria on the stage of the Teatro Piccolo in Milan


Brunello Cucinelli and the landscape architect Massimo De Vico during the presentation of the Solomeo Universal Library project

“We feel pro-tempore guardians of creation and beauty, and thanks to the stock market listing since 2012 we have the economic possibility to invest in important projects like this, which otherwise would not see the light”. That of books for Cucinelli is a real passion, a fundamental pillar of existence, from which he draws daily teachings and quotes that he rattles off with great naturalness, and which have also become an impromptu wedding gift (1000 at a time!) For all his descendants. The one of the Universal Library wants to be a monument of culture designed to be enjoyed by all, without barriers, who it will also deal with the translation of foreign texts into Italian. We will start with a first tranche of thirty thousand books, all purchased and not donated, the result of a very precise selection, to fill all the available shelves over the decades. Surprisingly, he also intervened during the presentation Gianluca Vacchi, entrepreneur and influencer with 41 million followers, in the role of financial consultant and friend of Brunello: «I think that building a library today is the most modern idea you can have. It’s not true that the internet has killed books, it’s just teaching us that different versions of culture can coexist. According to a recent research by de Il Washington Post, among digital natives only 9% study on e-books, the great majority still prefer to do it on paper ». After sad episodes in our history in which they burned in the squares, today we need someone to keep, protect and pass on the books. And that someone for sure is Brunello Cucinelli.

The sketch of the project for the Solomeo Universal Library

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

Brunello Cucinelli and the art of looking forward gracefully

Cucinelli, “The hug that really matters”

Brunello Cucinelli’s cashmere house

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