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The Pierre Gianadda Foundation


While planning to build a house for renting on a plot of land he owned, Léonard Gianadda, an engineer, discovered in the spring of 1976 the remains of an ancient Celtic temple, the oldest of its kind in Switzerland.

Shortly afterwards, on 31 July 1976, his younger brother Pierre tragically died in the aftermath of a plane crash while seeking help for his fellow survivors.

Léonard, who was very attached to Pierre, decided to create a foundation to perpetuate his memory. He erected a cultural centre around the temple, which would bear the name of his brother...

It was inaugurated on 19 November 1978, on the very day Pierre would have celebrated his 40th anniversary.

Léonard Gianadda… some dates

Born on 23 August, Leo ascendant Leo.

Primary school in Martigny, then traditional education at Saint-Maurice College.

At 15, he went to Florence, Rome and Naples for the Holy Year with his mother and brothers. It was a revelation.

My mother and her three sons, Piazza Venezia, Rome, Summer 1950.
He spent four months in the United States, visited Canada and Cuba.

During his studies, he worked as a journalist and press photographer.

In July, he directed the archaeological digs in Yens for the Canton of Vaud. Valaisan Junior Athletics Champion in the 100 metres, 400 metres and long jump.
In August, he went to Egypt to cover the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by Nasser.

In August, World Youth Festival in Moscow. Engaged by French-speaking Swiss Television as its first correspondent for the Canton of Valais (journalist and cameraman).

Léonard Gianadda in Moscow, in August 1957.
Civil engineering diploma from the Federal Polytechnic in Lausanne.
Toured the Mediterranean by car with his brother Pierre for four months.
Opened a firm of engineers with his fellow student, Umberto Guglielmetti, which they jointly ran for forty years.
Built more than thousand flats in Martigny.
Married Annette Pavid on 14 October.

Léonard and Pierre Gianadda in Libya, 1961.
Birth of François.

Birth of Olivier.

31 July, death of his brother, Pierre.
Decided to create the Pierre Gianadda Foundation.

Signature of the deed of constitution of the Pierre Gianadda Foundation, for which he provided the ground and construction.

19 November, inauguration of the Foundation.

Honorary Committee of the Company of Friends of the Rodin Museum in Paris.

Knight of the National Order of Merit of the French Republic.
Commendatore of the Italian Republic.

Member of the Board of the Ente Veneto Festival (I Solisti Veneti).
9 June, elected Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Academy of Fine Arts.
Member of the Board of the Company of Friends of the Library of Art and Archaeology (BAA) in Paris (Jacques Doucet Fund).

Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

1996 Prize of the Rayonnement Français.
1996 Prize of the Canton of Valais, F K Rünzi Foundation.
MMember of the Board of Directors of the Rodin Museum in Paris.
Officer of Arts and Letters.
Member of Honour of the Committee of the Rayonnement Français.
Member of the Board of Directors of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi.
Member of the Board of the Hans Erni Foundation in Lucerne.
Member of the Board of the Balthus Foundation.

Member of the first Guidance Council of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris. Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
27 June, elected Member of the Institute, Academy of Fine Arts.

4 June, induction under the Cupola in Paris. His academician’s sword was presented to him by the Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon.
21 September, Citizen of Honour of Curino, the village of origin of the Gianadda family in Piedmont.
30 September, the Foundation received its six millionth visitor.
19 November, the Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.


Grande Médaille d’or Art-Science-Letters 2004, with Plaque of Honour, Paris.
Member of the Acquisition Commission of the Orsay Museum.

Lien vers Préambule de l'acte de donation du 23 août 2014


Les Grands Entretiens de la TSR
Interview de M.Léonard Gianadda, Big format
Interview de M.Léonard Gianadda, Small format
Broadcasted in 2002 on TSR
Un bâtisseur converti à l'art
TheEditions Demoures