The magnificent Palazzo Butera of Palermo, located in the historical Kalsa district, is the first palazzo to be released as the venue of Manifesta 12. The details of the biennial programme featured in the palace will be revealed at a later stage.
Palazzo Butera’s architecture dates back to the 18th century. The palace belonged to the noble family of Branciforte with an investment support from principles of Butera. The original drawings of the Palace by architect Giacomo Amato can be found in the Palazzo Abatellis Sicilian Regional Gallery.
After a large part of the interior was destroyed by a fire in 1737, the Prince Ercole Michele Branciforti expanded Palazzo Butera by renting out a nearby palace overlooking the square of San Niccolò and owned by the Duke of Verdura, and by purchasing the palace of Francesco Moncada, count of Caltanisetta. It was from this point that Palazzo Butera had acquired its monumental dimensions, second only to the Royal Palace of Palermo. Italian painters Gioacchino Martorana and Gaspare Fumagalli were commissioned to decorate the palace, indulging figurations and quadrature ornaments using a trompe l’oeil technique.
From the 19th century onward, the palace had undergone various internal and external transformations and extensions initiated by various principles. In the 20th century, the palace lost its private residence status and went through profound changes, especially on the second floor. In 2015, Palazzo Butera was purchased by Massimo and Francesca Valsecchi, who began a complete restoration of the site.
History and description of Palazzo Butera are kindly provided by Palazzo Butera