Silvio Gazzaniga is the Italian goldsmith and sculptor who designed, in 1970, the trophy held every four years by the winners of the FIFA World Cup. His design was selected among the 53 ones presented to FIFA after the previous trophy, the Jules Rimet cup, was definitively assigned to the Brazilian team after its third victory.

Gazzaniga’s creative genius vividly rendered the joy and greatness of athletes at the moment of victory with a spiral that, starting from the base of the trophy, opens in two stylized athletes who cheer with their arms raised in the air, which become four pillars to support the world held by the two soccer players. Produced by GDE Bertoni in Novate (Milan), the trophy is 36.8 cm tall, with a base diameter of 13 cm for a total of just over 6 kilograms of solid 18-carat gold (but empty inside) embellished with two bands of green malachite.

Contrary to the Jules Rimet Cup, Gazzaniga’s one continues to circulate in subsequent editions without ever being permanently awarded. However, since Germany 2006, only the winning team (including reserves, technical staff, and heads of state) can touch the authentic trophy during the award ceremony, to then take home an identical copy of it made, always produced by Bertoni, in gold-plated brass. During the tournament the authentic trophy is exhibited for the opening ceremony, to be then moved to the organizational headquarters of each edition in a Louis Vuitton security case. At the end of the World Cup Finale, the 18-carat gold cup’s base is engraved with the name of the winning team, but following the award ceremony it is stored inside a steel safety case and brought back to the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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