alain elkann interviews

LITERATURE AND EDUCATION

Cornelia Guest

My love for animals made me vegan. People should not buy animal products. You were a famous debutante, and then you became a vegan, interested and deeply involved in animal rights? Yes, and I also became an actress and I still do movies. I have been surrounded by...

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James Bradburne

Napoleon intended Brera Pinacoteca to be the Louvre of Italy. Dr. James M. Bradburne is a British-Canadian architect, designer and museum specialist who is the newly appointed Director General of Pinacoteca di Brera e Biblioteca nazionale Braidense in Milan. His aim...

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Benjamin Clementine

The Englishman from Paris. A rising star. Benjamin Clementine is a Mercury Prize-winning pianist, poet, singer and songwriter. He was recently featured on the cover of T, The New York Times Style Magazine. Benjamin, when did you discover that you were a poet and a...

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John Richardson

"I am still obsessed by Picasso." The wind is blowing on a very cold New York winter day when I arrive in the downtown 5th Avenue building where I am expected. I have come to interview the art historian Sir John Richardson, who has just turned 92 years old. The lift...

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Eric M. Lee

You are Director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where you have now been for seven years. Can you explain why the Kimbell is such an important museum? There are three factors that make the museum important internationally. First there is the...

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Frederick Seidel

The Music and Energy of Poems. Why is "Widening Income Inequality" the title of your new collection of poems, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and coming out in America now? The title is used with some considerable irony. It is a very common phrase, used by...

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Manuela Consonni

Antisemitism is a societal disease. Professor Manuela Consonni is Director of The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism in Jerusalem Professor Consonni, can you tell us about your new prestigious role at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University as...

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Gabriele Finaldi

How is it to be back at the National Gallery, now as the Director? Thrilling, after 13 years away. I have been devoted to the institution since I was a child and it is very exciting to be here at this moment. Why? First of all the sheer beauty and quality of the...

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Ruth Dureghello

Faith doesn’t generate hate. Ruth Dureghello is president of Rome’s Jewish community. Last Sunday, before Pope Francis, Chief Rabbi Disegni, and the entire Roman Jewish community which had gathered at the Great Synagogue to welcome the pontiff, you said, “With this...

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Dario Disegni

Mr Disegni, you were recently appointed president of MEIS (which is the foundation behind the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Holocaust) by the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Dario Franceschini. You’ve taken over from writer Riccardo Calimani...

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Aharon Appelfeld

I meet Aharon Appelfeld, as I always do when I am in Jerusalem, at the Ticho House, the cafe where he goes twice a week to write longhand on a white sheet of paper with his biro pen. I ask him what he is writing at the moment:- I published, a few months ago, a...

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Martina Mondadori

What inspired you to launch your new magazine Cabana? What inspired me was on one hand a passion for the visual world, and on the other it was a great feeling of the type of world that was about to become mainstream visual inspiration. I clearly did not invent...

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Marco Delogu

Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London. Since July you are the new Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London. How come you made this role your choice when you are a well-known and active photographer? Photography was and is something too...

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Alessandro Ceretto

My biodynamic Barolo is like my child. Director of winemaking for the Ceretto Winery. Alessandro, you are part of the third generation of Ceretto wine producers who have been making wine in the Langhe area of Piedmont since the 1930s… Yes. My grandfather Riccardo was...

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Danielle Cillien Sabatier

“Going to Galignani is like going to the Ritz to have tea instead of having a takeaway.” Danielle Cillien Sabatier manages the renowned and historic Galignani bookstore in Paris. In Venice in 1520 the Galignanis were among the first to use the printing press to...

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Virgilio Sacchini

"A New Renaissance for Medicine." Dr. Virgilio Sacchini is a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. He will be attending a meeting in Florence on October 15 and 16, 2015, at the Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux. The meeting will be...

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Nicky Haslam

Nicky Haslam is founder of the London based interior design firm NH Design. A Lucky Life How would you describe yourself? I suppose I am stupidly fearless about doing things. I don’t panic if somebody says to me, “Do you sing?” I wasn’t panicked about going on stage....

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Colin Bailey

Colin B. Bailey is the Director of The Morgan Library & Museum. He was Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, before that Deputy Director and Chief Curator at The Frick Collection, and he is a specialist of 18th-19th century French art, especially...

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David Field

"Let's Work for Wildlife." David Field is the Zoological Director of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where his previous positions include Curator of Mammals and Curator of Whipsnade. He is Chairman of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums...

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Esther Freud

The many lives of Esther Freud. Esther Freud, your last novel "Mr Mac and Me" is not autobiographical, but does it still have to do with your grandfather? Everything is a little bit autobiographical, that’s always for me what makes it interesting. I know some writers...

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Prince Michael of Greece

"Politics is the Greek passion from antiquity to modernity." Michel de Grèce sounds like a perfect “nom de plume” for a writer, but in your case it is your real name. How come? Because my family ruled Greece for a hundred years, and when we started we did not need a...

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Françoise Giroud

For the love of the devil. A kind butler lets me into Françoise Giroud’s large Parisian flat, which is not far from Les Invalides, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Seine. There are large piles of books in the entrance. Françoise Giroud is wearing what...

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Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras’ book, The North China Lover (published in France by Gallimard), became a literary sensation for two reasons. The first reason was that Duras left Éditions de Minuit, which published The Lover in 1984. That book won the Goncourt prize and sold more...

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Giordano Bruno Guerri

You need to create your life the way you create an artwork. Mr. Guerri is President of the Foundation “Il Vittoriale degli Italiani” on the Gardone Riviera. He is in London during the week of the 2015 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show for a reception...

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Gaia Servadio

Tony Blair was more on the right than Thatcher. “When I think about Italian politics and corruption, I break out in hives.” Gaia Servadio lives in a typically British house in the Belgravia district of London, with a studio perched on a terrace where she writes and...

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Philippe de Montebello

"After 31 years as Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York I decided it was time to teach my long experience and the life of the work of art." Philippe de Montebello is in great shape, sitting comfortably in one of the salons of the New York University...

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Alberto Vitale

Book publishing is far from finished! Alberto Vitale, you were the Chairman and CEO of Random House, Inc. for ten years, from 1989 to 1998. Do you think that since then many things have changed in book publishing? Sure, many things, and the biggest change has been a...

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Alessandro Cassin

Centro Primo Levi recently launched CPL Editions, a new publishing enterprise at the historical New York Italian bookstore and publisher S.F. Vanni. The interview with Alessandro Cassin, Director of Publishing, took place at the recently reopened S.F. Vanni Bookstore...

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Lewis H. Lapham

In partnership with every age. Eight years ago you started a new magazine called Lapham's Quarterly. What is it about? It is about history. I believe with Faulkner that, "The past is never dead. It is not even past." I believe that history is an extraordinarily...

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Richard Deverell

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens' Director. Richard, can you describe the nature of your job? My job is to lead this extraordinary scientific and horticultural institution, and is very varied. It involves science, fundraising, the visitor attraction, and a lot of work...

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// FEATURED

ANITA PALLENBERG

Anita Pallenberg is an actress, model, and fashion designer. Born in Italy in 1944 she was the partner of the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones and then the partner of Keith Richards. Anita, you have worked in the worlds of cinema, music and fashion. Would you define yourself as an eclectic person? I would say... READ MORE

// PUBLICATIONS

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