Punta della Dogana

During the fifteenth century, developments in Venice’s commercial activities led to the Sea Customs House, which had previously been near the Arsenal, being transferred to the western point of Dorsoduro.

The building as it stands today was completed in 1682, five years before the nearby Basilia of the Salute. Architect Giuiseppe Benoni’s work is characterised by the tower surmounted by a sculptural group representing two Atlases lifting a golden bronze sphere on the top of which is Fortune, which, by turning, indicates the direction of the wind. The building continued to be a customs house, and thus intrinsically linked to the city’s history, until the 1980s. After twenty years of abandonment, the Venice city council announced a tender to transform it into a contemporary art space. The Pinault Collection was awarded the tender in 2007, and entrusted the restoration of the imposing complex to architect Tadao Ando. In June 2009, after 14 months of work, Punta della Dogana reopened to the public with the exhibition “Mapping the Studio”.

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