Milan Fair’s New Complex first stone laid today

The first stone in Milan Fair’s New Complex was laid this morning, October 6, 2002, in Pero-Rho, in the presence of Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi; the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructures, Pietro Lunardi; President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni; and Chairman and CEO of Fondazione Fiera Milano, Luigi Roth. The ceremony concluded with a blessing by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi.

This is a landmark day for the Fair, for Milan and for the entire country -- stated Luigi Roth, CEO of the parent company of the Milan fair system – We are redesigning the area northwest of Milan -- its structures and infrastructures as well as its economy. We are fully aware of the responsibility we have taken on. Thirty months from now, Fiera Milano will bestow an imposing structure upon this area. It will spread out over an area of 2 million sq m., with 530,000 sq m. of floor space. This is a complex that will further augment the already considerable (€2 billion a year) spinoffs for the local economy.

Luigi Roth welcomed the representatives from local and national institutions. At 11 a.m. the party convened on-site in Rho-Pero under a 500 sq m. mobile structure erected especially for the event.

Four hundred authorities participated in the ceremony, from state and local government representatives to regional, provincial and city officials, mayors of the adjacent towns and executives from Italy’s highest corporate echelons. The morning’s speakers included Ombretta Colli, President of Milan’s Provincial Government, and Gabriele Albertini, Mayor of Milan. They were followed by the Mayors of Rho and Pero, Paola Pessina and Angela Fioroni. The ceremony culminated in the blessing of the “first stone” by Archbishop of Milan, Dionigi Tettamanzi, who was assisted by a young boy and girl from Rho and Pero.

President Roberto Formigoni read the scroll that was then “sealed” inside the stone by Prime Minister Berlusconi. His gesture (with the aid of a trowel) symbolically sanctioned the inauguration of work on the largest architectural project currently under development in Europe.  

Among the prestigious contributions to the festivities was that of Pietro Lunardi who defined the major elements in the five-year plan; Gilberto Callera, President of Agip Petroli, commented on the land renewal project; Vincenzo Pozzi, President of ANAS (National Highway Authority), reaffirmed its commitment, along with Giulio Burchi, President of the Metropolitana Milanese (Milan’s Subway Authority) to on-time completion of all the necessary infrastructures, in order to guarantee complete success of the undertaking.

“With this project, we have contributed to launching the role of the General Contractor in Italy. A role subsequently ratified by the government with the so-called Legge Obiettivo (a new law governing infrastructures), commented Claudio Artusi, Managing Director of Sviluppo Sistema Fiera, the ad-hoc company responsible for construction of the New Complex. “We are looking at an ambitious project that will keep us busy for the next thirty months, a project that bears all the marks of a winner. Our commitment is in response to the demands of a vigorous and constantly growing international market. The New Fair Complex adds to the “firsts” already accumulated by the Milan Fair in over 80 years of activity”.

Milan Fair’s New Complex will be built by a group spearheaded by Astaldi, and which includes the companies Vianini Lavori SpA and Impresa Pizzarotti & C. SpA,  leading Italian contractors responsible for the construction of large-scale projects all over the world. Italian architect, Massimiliano Fuksas, has signed the project design that masterfully blends function, practicality and aesthetics.

The entire work is valued at more than €550 million, and will make Fiera Milano, with its New and City complexes, the number one exhibition system in the world.