Barbara Bloom

The new agreement that is more agile than the foundation

Many people, including Fiorucci and Taurisano, have chosen the trust to safeguard their art collections, while still trying to convey to the real world the ideas and values of the artists whose works they collect. This pairing of public fruition and private goals can be encapsulated by just one word: trust.

But why one should prefer the trust to the foundation, when dealing with art collections? The foundation is subject to public control and, so, it is more rigid than the trust, as to both establishment and management. Whereas the former requires a notary deed and formal recognition from competent authorities to be established, the latter has no specific obligations, apart from that of an authenticated written document, and requires no compulsory acknowledgment from state authorities, as in the case with the foundation. It is customary to set up the trust with a private document authenticated by the notary, who, at the same time, writes the act of attribution of the assets in trust; whether these assets are single works or entire collections, each work must be mentioned, together with its origin. From this moment on, the works of art will be managed by the trustee in compliance with the guidelines given by the trustor when the trust was set up; further guarantee is given by the guardian, who monitors the trustee regularly.

By its nature, the trust allows collectors to hand their works of art down to their lineal descendants, while also providing that the works are loaned to museums and galleries, so that they can be showcased to the public. Foundations, instead, although they are established by families of businessmen who want to preserve their patrimony, do not follow hereditary lines, but are limited to public management solely for supporting social, philanthropic, and cultural activities. For this reason, differently from the foundation, the trust can be established to pursue private objectives; in particular, the possible use of future incomes from sales, exhibitions, loans to museums and property rights can be regulated with a specific provision; a safeguard clause can also be included, according to which the trustee can assign the trustor a part of the patrimony in trust to be used in case of need of money due to disease or financial issues that do not derive from fraud or gross negligence of the beneficiary.

Leonardo Dell’Innocenti, Rossella Bruno