Banco BPM becomes one of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo's Golden Donors, reaffirming once again its ties to the Cathedral and the city
“Get Your Spire. Carve Your Name in History” is the fundraising campaign launched in October 2012 with the aim of involving citizens, individuals, companies, and associations in taking care of the 135 spires. Those spires which, altogether, create the Duomo's silhouette and which have made it the unmistakeable symbol of the city throughout the world. Amongst these, Banco BPM has chosen to adopt the Saint Vitalis spire, found on the façade: the statue is attributable to the 1900s, as the 19th-century original was destroyed during the terrible bombings that hit the city of Milan in 1943. A statue which therefore represents, due to its rather particular history, a sign of life and rebirth too.
THE CHOSEN SPIRE
At its apex, the spire of Saint Vitalis (G18 in the numbering system used by the Duomo's worksite) presents the figure of this holy martyr, whose story is closely linked to that of Saint Agricola, both having lived in Bologna in the 3rd century AD. Vitalis was the slave of Agricola and, in spite of this difference in social class, the two men were united by the same faith, that of Christianity: a calling that would cause them to face a tragic, shared destiny. Having professed his faith, Vitalis was imprisoned before being led to the arena, where he suffered inconceivable agony after refusing to renounce the Christian faith. Agricola watched the scene helplessly. Deeply shaken by his slave's bravery, he too chose to meet the same tragic fate: suffering crucifixion in his martyrdom. Today, the spire of Saint Vitalis is found facing that of Saint Agricola, an everlasting testament to the bond between the two saints.
AN INEXHAUSTIBLE COMMITMENT AND A NEW MEETING
The meeting between the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo and Banco BPM is not a new one; the then Banca Popolare di Milano had already contributed to the construction of the Cathedral's Fifth Door in 1965 (which is generally considered as the end of construction work on the Duomo) on the 100th anniversary of the Bank's founding, and in memory of its president Domenico Barbero, who had passed away following a car accident in 1962. A commemorative plaque placed in the intrados of the door acts as a reminder of this donation still to this day to all those who cross this threshold daily. Thus the spire of Saint Vitalis takes on an even more profound meaning: standing directly above the Fifth Door, he acts as a symbolic guardian to those entering the Cathedral, preserving the special tie between the Duomo and Banco BPM.
A tie that today is strengthened anew, in the name of art and culture, and in the shared commitment to enhancing Milan's artistic heritage.
For further information:
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 20122 Milan
Tel.: 800.528.477 (Italy only)