Paris, Italian Embassy

25 Jan 2012

Paris, 25 January 2012 - To celebrate its first 60 years, Goppion today unveils its Q System, the world’s largest collection of custom-built museum showcases.

The event will be hosted by Ambassador Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri, who has prepared a reception in honor of Goppion at the Italian Embassy in Paris. Standard-bearer for the best in the Italian industrial tradition, offering cutting-edge exhibit systems developed through an unflagging commitment to research and development, Goppion represents the gold standard for museums all over the world.

Cultural representatives and members of the international scientific community will gather around Sandro Goppion today in Rue de Varenne to celebrate this historic milestone for his company, which is specialized in the production of museum showcases and thus dedicated to safeguarding the historical and artistic heritage of humanity.

Goppion’s Q System is a set of modular components and technical mechanisms that can be mixed and combined to create customized products, ranging from individual showcases to full museum exhibit systems, guaranteeing the high performance expected of special projects at affordable prices.

The engineering behind the Q System, the result of 60 years of ongoing research, innovation, and experimentation, results in the extreme versatility of this revolutionary system, which Goppion supplies directly to curators and exhibition designers who have chosen to develop the most appropriate solutions for their museums on their own, choosing from the catalogue the exhibition components that best meet their specific museological needs.

Q System showcases can be finished and set up to integrate perfectly into the aesthetics and architecture of any setting. They are sustainable, thanks to their ease of use, safety, durability, low maintenance needs, and energy-saving lighting devices, and to Goppion’s concern for reducing environmental impact in compliance with all applicable laws and standards. And allow us to say that they are also democratic, because they embody solutions that are already part of the Goppion heritage, and their setup or reconfiguration does not require the development of new and costly prototypes.

The entire Q System is illustrated in an annotated catalogue containing various types of technical showcases in a range of nearly 150,000 variants in terms of measurements, functions, and accessories.

The choice of Paris for the celebration of the company’s sixtieth anniversary is no coincidence. The French capital is Goppion’s city of consecration. In the early years of this century, Goppion concluded a successful series of works that progressively boosted its reputation. The company would shortly achieve a renown and popularity that carried its name well beyond the narrow circle of specialists. This overwhelming acclaim was precisely due to special projects for Parisian museums.

Indeed, since 2005, it is a Goppion showcase, designed and built entirely in Italy, that protects the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece has become an icon of Western art and also a symbol of France, where Leonardo moved in 1516, bringing the painting with him.

Founded in Milan in 1952, Goppion is now world leader in exhibition design. It is still the careful keeper of the Mona Lisa, for which it has built a bona fide glass safe, which exposes the work exclusively to the gazes of visitors—an impressive 6 million every year—protecting it thanks to highly sophisticated technological systems from any and all possibly harmful external agents.

The mission to protect the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa has certainly been Goppion’s most sensational undertaking, but it certainly does not represent the only occasion on which France has turned to the company. Goppion’s first assignment in the Louvre dates back to 2003, when the Section des Antiquitées Orientales, containing the Code of Hammurabi, was redeveloped. The most recent job was completed in 2010, when the gallery housing the Venus of Milo was redesigned.

In 2006, again in Paris, Goppion built the permanent exhibition installation for the Musée des Arts Decoratifs. Collaborative projects with the cultural institutions and preeminent professionals west of the Alps have continued their triumphant course: in 2009 Goppion was called upon to built two hundred custom showcases for the Musée de l’Armée, located in the halls of the Hôtel National des Invalides, for its collections of weapons, uniforms, and the military ensigns of the armed forces who were protagonists of historical events from the 17th century to the end of the Second Empire.

Goppion in France has long been at the service of a cultural policy that has had the great merit of recognizing the value to the nation of developing museums throughout the country, not only in the capital but also in the most outlying Departments. Goppion’s work in the less centralized zones—but by no means less important in terms of innovation—trace out a map of the hidden treasures of the French artistic heritage.

From the Musée International de la Parfumerie of Grasse to the Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut of Lille Métropole in Villeneuve d'Ascq; from the Musée International des Hussar in Tarbes to the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Limoges and the Musée Lalique in Wingen sur Moder, each of these museums has requested high level specialized engineering capabilities in structures, materials, illumination, climate control, combined with the involvement of highly specialized personnel in the machining and processing of materials for the creation of their exhibit systems. Goppion provides both of these, together with its showcases, according to best practices consolidated in over sixty years of work in the field.

In spite of the fact that public funding for museum renovation and remodeling has diminished in France as well—approximately one half of what it was twenty years ago, when the French State covered 30-40% of expenses—the world, and Goppion in a particular way, was nevertheless able to hail the reopening of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in late 2011.

This museum of modern art that boasts the world’s most prestigious collection of Impressionist works has recently celebrated its first 25 years with an addition and a restyling of the halls dedicated to the Impressionist masters. The new museum spaces, outfitted with Goppion Q System showcases, were inaugurated this past October 12 with the French Prime Minister, François Fillon, and Frédéric Mitterand in attendance.
In his inaugural address, François Fillon proudly stated that “the Musée d’Orsay finally has exhibition spaces on a par with its stature, which continues to grow. More than 3 million people visit it every year. This means that together with the Louvre, Versailles, and the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay is one of the ten most visited museums in the world.”

The enthusiasm embodied by Goppion in these undertakings is renewed day by day, corroborated also by new and important commissions that continue to constitute the scale against which the Milanese firm measures itself. Among them, we mention the exhibition design for the gallery of Islam in the Louvre, a grandiose project currently in progress. The new hall erected in the Visconti courtyard of the Louvre, encompassing a total of 4,610 square meters and costing 98.5 million euros, will be the new home for the Museum’s extraordinary collection of Islamic art. Once again, it will be Goppion showcases that protect the 4,000 objects in the collection.

While awaiting the inauguration of the Département des Arts de l'Islam of the Louvre, scheduled for this coming summer, today the Hôtel de la Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville – which has housed the Italian embassy since 1937 – will form the backdrop to the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of Goppion, which will begin in the afternoon. The Louis XVI building with its magnificent English garden has recently been renovated, restoring the halls to their former splendor. Among the treasures found within, we mention an 18th-century Sicilian puppet theatre once belonging to the Princes of Banciforte and transferred to Paris in the early years of the 20th century from Palazzo Butera in Palermo.