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Vicente Todolí and Lorenzo de' Medici in conversation with Sofia Barroso

Citrus collectors and conservationists

Sevilla 2023, 

One in four plant species is threatened with extinction, mostly due to the destruction of ecosystems and climate change. In situ conservation of genetic plant resources, then, is crucial if we are to safeguard the planet's currently high levels of biodiversity, and to retain the species or genes needed by scientists and conservationists for crop improvement and ecological restoration.

Vicente Todolí and Lorenzo de' Medici, both saviours of species that might have become extinct, talk about their shared passion.

Vicente Todolí is one of the world’s foremost contemporary art curators, as attested by his career as director of museums such as IVAM in Valencia, the Tate Modern in London, and currently the Pirelli Hangarbiccoca in Milan, counted among the most prestigious art centres in Europe. His Todolí Citrus Foundation, a pivotal project for citrus fruit conservation, cultivates and protects 400 species that are in danger of extinction in an orchard that takes up the image of Palmera, Valencia and projects it to the world.

Prince Lorenzo de' Medici is a direct descendant of the Medici family, one of the most prominent historical families, under whose patronage the greatest works of Renaissance art were created, and whose art and conservationism turned the city of Florence into a cradle of world culture. Lorenzo de' Medici was born in Milan, Italy, and spent his childhood in Switzerland. Having lived in the United States as well as several European countries, he currently resides in Portugal. He is heir to Lorenzo the Magnificent, the great Medici who, among other notable achievements, has gone down in history for owning a world-famous collection of citrus fruits in Florence.

Sofía Barroso holds a degree in Art History and has organised cultural travel and art events since 1984. She has run the ARCO collectors' programme since its inception, was a member of the board of directors of the Friends of ARCO (2000-2006) and is currently on the board of trustees of the Jakober Foundation and the Zuloaga Foundation.

Vicente Todolí and Lorenzo de' Medici in conversation with Sofia Barroso