Osella D Oro 02

The Osella d’Oro is one of Venice’s most traditional events, dating back to about the year 1000 when the Doge cast a ring into the water to celebrate the Marriage of the Sea, symbolising the intimate relationship between the city and surrounding waters.

Venice arose from the water and from the sea the city found its fortune and glory. The priviledge to marry the sea was granted by Pope Alessandro III in the 12th Century: Desponsamus Te mare in signum vero et prepetuo dominio.

The Doge, on board the Bucintoro, the patricians and illustrious guests, together with the Patriarch, followed by a procession of sumptuously decorated boats, rowed to the Lido inlet to celebrate the most important Venetian ritual.

When the Republic ended, the initiative ceased to be celebrated until 1965 when a group of Venetians, driven by their strong public spirit and a passion for the history of the Serenissima decided to revive the ceremony due to its underlying significance, even in modern times.

Parade to the Lido during the Festa della Sensa. Photo by Steven Varni.

The prize is given, every year, to three individuals representing public or private organisations that are part of the cultural, productive, artisanal and commercial sectors that have brought benefits to the city. The Osella is a gold coin that derives from the tradition of the Doge to give ducks to members of the Great Council until stocks ran low and they started minting representative coins instead.

MOTIVES: JANE DA MOSTO – Award in the Cultural and Environmental Sector

For constancy, attention and dedication to cultural life in the city, safeguarding Venice and its delicate human and social fabric, safeguarding the Lagoon and its extraordinary environment, engagement with the Venice in Peril Fund, We are here Venice, and Venezia è Laguna – expressions of love and sensitivity for conservation in the world of culture and scientific research for Venice also in an international sphere, so that this heritage received by us from ancient Venetians can be preserved in all its values for future generations.

MOTIVES: SAVERIO PASTOR – Award in the Productive Activities Sector.

Venetian, for his dedication and hard work in the ancient and traditional sector of Maestro Remer (Oar Maker), apprenticed in the workshop of maestro Bepi Carli and guide to further apprentices, has become the most respected among all Venetian oar makers, also in his role as President of the association El Felze (LINK), that brings together all the traditional crafts associated with conservation of gondolas and the knowledge that is safeguarded by these traditional activities and arts for future generations.

MOTIVES: MICHELE BUGLIESI – Award in the Cultural Institution Sector

In appreciation of all the initiatives carried out and his personal dedication, as Chancellor of Ca’Foscari University of Venice, resulting in the engagement of the institution with the city. A fundamental presence that is internationally recognised amidst high quality cultural and scientific research communities in Venice, as well as providing a learning laboratory for generations of students, increasingly aware and connected to the city, while preserving and enhancing the historic buildings of the university and opening its prestigious spaces also for non-university related cultural activities.

For further details: read the Associazione Settemari article, the texts on Venezia blog and Artnewspaper.

EXTRACT OF ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, Sala dello Scrutinio – Doge’s Palace, 27.5.2017

We are here Venice endeavours to make scientific knowledge available to those who need to know how to make decisions on behalf of Venice and the lagoon. Communications experts and artists help with raising awareness.

Given the complexity of Venice, as a place to live, one of our main aims is to encourage citizens to understand the factors that determine our quality of life in the city, together with the limits of what’s possible – in economic, social and environmental terms. In this way we will all be able to participate more knowledgeably, and more effectively, in political choices.

We are here Venice is not a factory for trouble-makers but an incubator for citizens that adds value to their experience, understanding and knowledge. Even if not much is left of Venice (and the need to re-grow the resident population is urgent), its value is still immeasurable in terms of history, culture, civilisation and, above all, its innate resilience.

Venice is often considered a mirror on the world. Many of its problems are also found on a global scale. We have the privilege of living here and seeing everything close-up. If we don’t manage to save Venice, how will the world save itself?

Jane Da Mosto, Venice, 27.5.2017