Milan celebrates “his” Fogar with an exhibition


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FB_IMG_1449420643522Until Dec. 20, an exhibition dedicated to navigator and explorer Ambrogio Fogar is being held at the historic headquarters of the National Association of Italian Sailors in Milan’s Darsena area. The exhibition, curated by the dean of Italian nautical journalists Eolo Attilio Pratella, is sponsored by the City of Milan, which may soon name a Street or Square after the famous traveler. Through photo panels, books and personal items, both the life and accomplishments of Fogar will be retraced on the 10-year anniversary of his passing. Saturday, Dec. 12, the official opening, attended by dignitaries and family.


AMBROGIO FOGAR – UN MARINAIO MILANESE” is the name of the exhibition set up in Milan from Dec. 11 to 20 at the ultracentennial headquarters of the National Association of Sailors of Italy in the Darsena area. Thanks to the support offered by journalist Eolo Attilio Pratella, spokesman and contact person for the Fogar family, the Milanese sailors thus intend to remember and pay tribute to one of their illustrious fellow citizens, who passed away in Milan in 2005 at the age of 64. The official inauguration, in the presence of authorities, Milan Sports Councillor Chiara Bisconti, City Councillor Alessandro Giungi and members of the Fogar family, will be held on Saturday, December 12, at 4:30 p.m. at the ANMI headquarters on Viale Gorizia 9/B.

The Adventurous Life of Ambrogio Fogar (We also told you about it at the last VELAFestival during Fogar Day, where we celebrated the great Milanese sailor) began in 1972 when, aboard the 11-meter sailboat Surprise, he participated in OSTAR, the famous transatlantic for soloists along the England-United States route. Honorable was his placing, even given a rudder failure that he could not use for most of the crossing. Between 1973 and 1974 he set out again to sail around the world, again solo, from East to West. The January ’74 passage of Cape Horn is historic, occurring in the opposite direction from the prevailing winds. On that occasion, Fogar displays a splash shield banner with the words “City of Milan” on the stern. In 1978 the tragic sinking of his Surprise in the South Atlantic, caused by a sea orca, occurred. Taking refuge on the life raft with friend and fellow traveler, journalist Mauro Mancini, they are both rescued by a Greek ship after 74 days adrift. Mancini died of pneumonia a couple of days later. In the 1980s Fogar attempted to conquer the North Pole on foot, together with the sled dog Armaduk. He then took part in three Paris-Dakar rallies and three Pharaohs Rallies. In 1992, while participating in the Paris-Moscow-Beijing race, he fractured his spine when his Range Rover overturned. From that time on, he remains almost completely paralyzed. This did not stop him, in 1997, from sailing around Italy in a tilting wheelchair. Ambrogio Fogar died of a heart attack in Milan on August 24, 2005.


“Doing, but also making known.” This seemed to be the motto that animated Ambrogio Fogar for most of his life. Among the books produced are “My Atlantic,” “400 Days Around the World,” “Messages in a Bottle,” “The Last Legend,” and “The Raft.” Passionate popularizer gave birth to successful TV shows such as “Base Camp” and “Jonathan, Adventure Dimension,” during which he involved viewers in travels and discoveries in the most remote places on the globe.


Navigator, explorer, writer, documentary filmmaker, traveler, television host. Ambrogio Fogar in his life was all of this, to the point of being named Commendatore of the Italian Republic and having received both the Medaglia al valore marinaro and the Medaglia d’Oro alla memoria, awarded to him in 2015 by the City of Milan. The National Association of Italian Sailors, accepting the demands of the Milanese seafaring industry, is working for the proposal to name a street or site after Ambrose to be accepted. In this regard, in view of his exemplary human story and for the great strength and dignity with which he was able to cope with the condition of severe infirmity, the hypothesis of the dedication has already been submitted to the Mayor and Council. The Milan ANMI would thus help to honor and restore to collective memory the figure of an internationally distinguished Milanese.



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