Coral – Dear heritage to Vitale 1913
Coral : a dear heritage to Vitale 1913
In 2017, Sir Alberto Vitale was just finishing his first collection paying tribute to coral. Lover and passionate about the environment and the hidden treasures of the ocean, he decided to shine the spotlight of coral, while dedicated it a full collection, called «Ocean Treasures», presented in collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco’s Foundation. A part of the benefits of this collection is given to the Foundation, with the intention of supporting ocean protection, while fighting against water pollution by plastics in particular. This collection, presented on the 23rd of October 2019, is but a first step towards the gratification of this precious marine organism.
Very sensitive to the preservation of underwater fauna and flora, Alberto Vitale quickly became involved in this cause by offering his time, as a founding member and vice-president of the young philanthropic association OceanoScientific Monaco, member of the Yacht Club of Monaco and the Foundation of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
The mission of the OceanoScientific association is to organize sailing expeditions whose ambition is to collect oceanographic data, in sparsely frequented areas of the globe. This information is provided free of charge to the international community, to assist them in their research on the causes and consequences of climate change. The ultimate goal of the OceanoScientific association is to educate, raise awareness and mobilize as many people as future generations on the importance of acting in favour of the Ocean, for all humanity.
On the other hand, the OceanoScientific association wishes, during its various expeditions, to collect pieces of corals from all over the world, damaged by men or naturally, in order to setting up an underwater greenhouse in Monaco and creating the largest coral reserve in the world, while pushing back hundreds of coral species to ensure their protection and prevent their disappearance.
Corals are living beings capable of surviving for more than 500 years. They are home to thousands of other marine species and are essential to the survival of the oceans and the maintenance of life on Earth.
For the making of his jewellery, Alberto Vitale wants to use only corals destroyed naturally. There is no question of degrading the beauty and ecosystem of the seabed. However, this practice requires professional coral’s fishers. In the Mediterranean sea, it is necessary to go under between 80 and 120 meters below the sea level to be able to harvest these precious pieces of red-orange coral. Vitale 1913 therefore chose to exclusively use the coral of Sciacca, a mythical Sicilian town, for the creation of its high-jewellery collection, « Ocean’s Treasures ».
The story said that Sicily, known as a red land, is home to many terrestrial volcanoes, such as Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano, but also underwater volcanoes, such as the Empedocles, which includes several volcanic islets. The Ferdinandea which is an huge underwater volcano of 30 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide, sleeps off the Sicilian coasts, located between the city of Sciacca and the island of Pantelleria, immersed only eight meters from the surface of the water. This still active volcano appeared for the last time in 1831 and emerged 63 meters above sea level, creating an island of 5 square kilometres. Its eruption lasted nearly a month and a half, and the tremors were so violent and so strong, that it destroyed the corals as far as the coasts of Sciacca. The British were the first to land on the island and claimed its sovereignty. But the king of Naples and Sicily, Ferdinand II of Bourbon had then sent ships to chase the British and christened the island Ferdinandea. A few months later, in December 1831, the question of the sovereignty of this islet disappeared with it under the depths of the sea.
The coral of Sciacca was therefore naturally destroyed by the eruption of this volcano and the Liverino family, expert in the field of coral for five generations, has largely participated in the prosperity of the city of Sciacca by practising the red gold fishery.
That’s the reason why Vitale 1913 worked closely with the Liverino family. Enzo Liverino, who is also the President of the CIBJO Commission, «International Confederation of Jewellery, Jewelry, Goldsmithery of Diamonds, Pearls and Stones», uses mainly the coral of Sciacca. The Liverino family has an impressive collection of coral jewels, sculptures and other masterpieces, which visitors can admire in the Liverino Museum.