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The case was provoked by the pre-emption of a pair of statues by Giacomo Manzù, sold to a private collector for Li69.9m, of which Li9.9m went in commission to Finarte. The state then waded in to claim the prize, declared that the commission was not payable and proposed to pay Li60m (£19,670). Finarte declined to accept, lost the initial case but won on appeal before the State Council.

More pertinent to the future of Finarte is the arrival of Giorgio Corbelli as the new president of Finarte. A terse, three-line press release issued on November 20 by Finarte announced the new situation, omitting to mention the fact that Corbelli is the majority shareholder of Semenzato, nor the point of view of erstwhile president of Finarte, Casimiro Porro. The new managing director will be Stefano Zorzi, another Venetian. A merger on the way?