Roberto Gagliardi, entrepreneur and international businessman, founded Gagliardi Design over 40 years ago in London and for decades he successfully imported and promoted Italian designer furniture in the United Kingdom. He has gradually transitioned towards creativity and has finally left behind the world of furniture and interior design to focus fully on art.
Roberto Gagliardi achieved huge success over the years with clients such as the Rank Organisation, famous in London’s Entertainment industry, commissioning Gagliardi to furnish numerous restaurants all across the UK. The Kuwaiti Government pre-selected Gagliardi Design to supply a thousand bedrooms for the Islamic Conference Centre. The project billion-dollar project employed five thousand people in total, including three hundred from the Gagliardi team. After the international tender was won by Roberto Gagliardi, he worked for three years in collaboration with the German company Vereinigten Werkstätten, whose Director, Stephan Fischer von Poturzyn, complimented Roberto for the organisation and the skill of his Italian craftsmen.
Other institutional clients include RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana), the Italian equivalent of the BBC, who chose Gagliardi Design to furnish their London headquarters, as well as the Italian Chamber of Commerce in London. Their Chairman, Massimo Coen, appointed Gagliardi thanks to his international reputation gained over many years working in the Italian design sector.
Private clients of Gagliardi’s Holborn office included, among others, Persian Princess Leila Pahlavi, BBC television presenters Russell Harty and Michael Aspel and Lee Ryan, lead singer of boy band Blue.
Today, Roberto Gagliardi has turned over a new leaf, totally dedicating himself to art without looking back. He is responsible for returning numerous Italian artworks to their home nation such as the bronze bust of Queen Marie José made by her mother, Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, and the portrait of Umberto II, King of Italy, acquired at a Christie’s auction in which parts of the Royal Collection from the House of Savoy were sold. Other artworks returned to Italy include the Icon created by Buccellati, blessed and given to Princess Margaret by Pope Pius XII, marking the first official visit of a British Royal to the Vatican in centuries, and the important portrait of Pope Pius V, painted by Palma the Younger in the 15th century, commissioned by the Bellanti Counts of Siena, later to be purchased by an English collector, Sir Robert Dick, in 1842. The artwork remained in the UK for 200 years but is now back in Tuscany, exhibited at the Chianciano Art Museum.
Roberto’s achievements in the art world have even surpassed his previous successes in design and furniture. He is, among other things, the founder of the London Art Biennale, which gathers over 120 artists from more than 40 nations. The next London Biennale, in 2017, will include an eagerly awaited charity auction, for which the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea will present a cheque. The challenging goal is to surpass the amount collected in previous Biennales, in order to donate as much money as possible to Rotary International. Masterpieces by internationally renowned artists will be on offer in the auction and we are eager to find out what precious artworks will be donated, once again, by the Gagliardi family.