The Italian Almanac
The Venice City Council has moved to sell a historic palazzo on the Grand Canal to raise revenue and fashion giant Prada is a possible buyer. Ca' Corner della Regina, an 18th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal, is awaiting final approval from the Venice City Council to be sold for at least 40 million euros in order to raise revenue for city coffers.
The palace is currently leased for six years to the Prada Foundation, which uses the space to host exhibits. The foundation is overseen by fashion designer Miuccia Prada and her husband CEO Patrizio Bertelli, who are also restoring the building. "We are happy to accept the demanding challenge to redevelop the extraordinary palace of Ca' Corner della Regina, in full respect of its history, and with the ambition to offer the city of Venice an exciting and important arts program," they said upon agreeing to restore the palace.
Built in the 1700s by Domenico Rossi, Ca' Corner was a noble residence for the Corner dynasty. More recently it served as a historical archive of the International Biennale art and culture fair.
Prada inherited the fashion company that bears her family name in 1978 and she and Bertelli have built it into a luxury brand comprising men and women's fashion, eyewear and fragrance with total revenues of 2.15 billion euros in 2010. Apart from their presence in Venice, the couple are also building a permanent gallery in Prada's native city, Milan, where her fashion empire is based.