About Artfuel

Photograph by Natalia Sarkissian

Saving the Stones, One ‘Stately Pile’ at a Time

“Under the shadow of a stately Pile,
The dome of Florence, pensive and alone,
Nor giving heed to aught that passed the while,
I stood, and gazed upon a marble stone,
The laurelled Dante’s favourite seat. A throne.”

– William Wordsworth, Memorials of a Tour in Italy, 1837

“Italy’s ancient monuments and cultural heritage are crumbling. Venice is sinking, the famed Duomo in Florence is cracked and flaking, and Norman-era churches in Sicily have been boarded up.” – Newsweek

“Despite Rome’s reputation as The Eternal City, many of its most famous landmarks, from the Colosseum to its famous Forum, are in desperate need of repair.” – The Smithsonian

Two friends from long ago at The University of Texas at Austin began pondering how American donors might better assist urgent needs for repair and restoration of significant historic sites and buildings in Tuscany. Carolyn M. Appleton and Natalia Sarkissian studied together in graduate school. Both secured Master’s Degrees and worked together on a few professional publications while studying in the College of Fine Arts. Natalia came up with the name, “Arfuel” for this project, and she added her talented husband Mauro Bartalini to the project.

The three team members are devoted to historic preservation and conservation. They see the urgent need to help Italy save, restore and conserve for all time its rich architectural and artist legacy, and they are each uniquely qualified to do just that.

Please see their full biographies on the page, “The Principles.”

Donor Confidence Funding Projects Abroad

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Philanthropists with strong interests in supporting historic preservation and conservation projects abroad, those who also have a substantial capacity to make a difference, often have two key concerns.

First, American donors want to know that budgeting for significant projects is solidly based, and that timelines for implementation and completion are followed. Second, they want to know the money they contribute is managed securely and wisely, and awarded at the proper time to the responsible agent(s) abroad.

Artfuel ably addresses these issues. We invite you to read more about our project and thank you for visiting.

This website was designed, owned and managed by Carolyn  M. Appleton. If you have questions, use the secure contact form to reach her. Photographs are by Natalia Sarkissian.

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