The Italian Renaissance Fund was established in 2002 and operates as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of New York. The IRF is governed by a Board of Directors.

IRF started with the aim of contributing to a huge project launched by the city of Florence around the complex of S. Maria Novella. The complexity of the intervention and the difficulties faced with the technical counterparts in the city of Florence limited the possibility of developing a reliable project. IRF decided to leave the venture and therefore dedicate energies in enhancing the capabilities of selecting reliable partners in Italy and abroad.

The development of ASK (Art, Science and Knowledge) research center of Bocconi University, a research unit dedicated to the heritage management and economics since 2004 represented a milestone for the possibility of developing a better knowledge of Italian heritage scene and institutions.
In 2006 the creation of the Associazione delle Fabricerie Italiane (the Association of Italian Cathedrals - AFI), and the beginning of partnership with the Opera del Duomo di Pisa and Opera del Duomo di Siena suggested the possibility of developing a further strategy of fundraising to support projects for the preservation of the monumental heritage.
But only during 2009 the condition for a start up of IRF activities were successfully tested.

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