The production chain for the religious sector met in Vicenza, in Veneto, Italy, for the major European event in the sector. On Saturday, March 11, 2017, the 17th edition of KOINÈ, the biennial exhibition of church furnishings, liturgical items and religious building components began and it ending yesterday, March 14, in the Vicenza trade-fair quarter.
ZENIT Vatican correspondent, Deborah Castellano Lubov, was on the ground in Vicenza and brings you some images of the event.
The event was organized by Italian Exhibition Group SpA (IEG) – a company that came into being with the integration between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza – in collaboration with the Diocese of Vicenza and the National Offices for Cultural Heritage and for pastoral action for tourism of the Italian Episcopal Conference, with the support of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Santa Giustina Institute of Pastoral Liturgy, Padua and the Santa Maria di Monteberico Higher Institute of Religious Studies in Vicenza.
KOINÈ, set up in 1989, has as its main feature its unusual format which combines displays of products and spaces for reflection, debate and professional training with the latter section organized by KOINÈ RICERCA. Taking part in the 17th edition were over 300 exhibitors, of whom 32% coming from abroad; they occupied over 22 thousand square meters of exhibition surface in Halls 7 and 1 in the Vicenza trade-fair site.
There were two product-related sectors: Church & Liturgy presenting products and services dedicated to the clergy (furnishings, liturgical items and garments, glass panes and statuary, as well as high-technology products to create acoustic, heating and lighting installations in religious buildings) and Faith & Devotion, comprising products dedicated to the distribution world (statues, holy pictures, rosary beads, small paintings, icons and gadgets).
There was a specialist audience of liturgists, diocesan officials responsible for cultural heritage, architects, artists and artisans taking part in the event. Over the years, KOINÈ has seen an increase in the spaces used and in the interest shown by visitors. At the last edition in 2015 over 13 thousand admissions were recorded, with 15% coming from 65 overseas countries.
There are various KOINÈ RICERCA conferences, seminars and workshops on themes of the liturgy and the architecture of religious buildings. The focus of this edition was the maintenance and improvement of churches and of parish complexes, with particular attention given to the earthquake that has hit the regions of Central Italy.
KOINÈ opened with an expression of solidarity with the populations and the churches who suffered from the earthquakes. On 11th March, after the inauguration of the event at 11.00 a.m. in the presence of the Bishop of Vicenza, Monsignor Beniamino Pizziol and IEG Executive Vice President, Matteo Marzotto, there was a moment with representatives of the earthquake-stricken dioceses, during which exhibitors offered gifts for the reconstruction of the churches: liturgical vestments, furnishings for places of worship, sacred images and building installations.
Immediately following the earthquake, exhibitors at the event, coordinated by Koinè, manifested their intention to support the local churches which were under stress both because of the loss of human life and the thousands of homeless people, and also because of the huge damage to the ecclesiastical heritage. So a set of initiatives was started up to show solidarity, some of which have already been expressed directly to the dioceses involved.
Also on show during KOINÈ were two exhibitions Holy vases and items for liturgical use and after the success of the previous edition, “Santini d’autore” (Artistic holy cards). Contemporary interpretations for devotional images.
On the NET:
ITALIAN EXHIBITION GROUP SPA: FOCUS ON Italian Exhibition Group SpA, the Company generated by a merger between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza, is led by President Lorenzo Cagnoni, together with Executive Vice President Matteo Marzotto and Managing Director Corrado Facco. IEG, which closed 2016 with a preliminary pro-forma turnover of Euro 123 million, an EBITDA of Euro 22.9 million and a consolidate net result of about Euro 6.6 million, is Italy’s second player in terms of overall volume with over 60 products – on an annual and two-yearly basis – in its portfolio (relating to Food & Beverage, Green, Technology, Entertainment, Tourism, Transport, Wellness, Jewelery and Fashion, Lifestyle & Innovation) and 216 events and congresses. The Company’s priority asset is to favor internationalization in segments representing Beautiful and Well Done around the world, starting from its already solid presences in the United Arab Emirates, where it has an on-going joint venture, and in the USA, China, India and South America. Furthermore, IEG is also the Italian leader in the convention and congress segment. In 2016, IEG events at its exhibition and congress sites in Rimini and Vicenza, totaled 14,593 exhibitors and almost 2.5 million visitors.