Artoteca was founded in Bolzano in 2013 as the first (and one of the very few in Italy) provincial library dedicated entirely to loaning works of art.
The peculiarity of this Artoteca, which differentiates it from other projects of this type, is that its patrimony consists exclusively of original works by local artists, and its goal is to promote artists from South Tirol and their work. The project aims at rethinking traditional forms of management and appreciation of our artistic heritage, by involving the population in a moment of common and continuous cultural growth. Artoteca is a real library comprised of works of art where instead of loaning borrowing books, citizens can loan paintings, sculptures and other types of artworks. The project therefore proposes a new way of relating to contemporary art. The artworks are not only masterpieces to admire, but art pieces to touch, feel, enjoy on the walls of one’s home. In 2017, Artoteca became in every respect a service offered by the five participating Public Libraries which offer the lending of artworks alongside the other library services.