Built in 1929 to reflect the spirit of 18th century Venice, the fully-restored Casa Labia has re-opened as South Africa’s most exquisite multi-functional cultural centre. The grand opening was celebrated with a star-studded soiree for 300 VIP guests on 5 May 2010 hosted by the Labia family.
The event showcased how effortlessly the opulently finished cultural centre lends itself to the creation of special experiences and unforgettable memories. Guests were warmly welcomed with free-flowing bubbly by Villiera and continued to enjoy the very best of both South Africa and Italy throughout the evening. Fine Italian finger-food by Judy Badenhorst, a decadent chocolate dessert buffet by Von Geusau and premium berverages by Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate, Tokara Wine Estate and Peroni ensured the guests were well catered to whilst they mingled to the eclectic cultural rhythms of Brendan Bussy and Garth Erasmus. A jaw-dropping operatic performance by Aviva Pelham and Tshepo Moagi set the scene for the official opening ceremony conducted the Labia family with gracious assistance from the current Italian Ambassador, his Excellency Elio Menzione.
The highlight of the evening was the new first floor which features a contemporary art gallery with adjacent Africa Nova boutique which showcases the best of African art and design. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition ‘A Collection of Contemporary South African Portraits’, as selected by Antonia Labia included works by over 20 local artists including portraits by Lionel Davis, Peter Clarke and Willie Bester.
Comments Antonia, “For me, the opening of Casa Labia and the new cultural centre – in many ways – will be about celebrating the work of my grandfather and all he did for art and the Italian community in South Africa. He built this home with great vision and I believe that with these latest developments, Casa Labia will finally be as he had envisioned; a celebration of all that is unique and beautiful about Italy and South Africa”.
Casa Labia is now open to the public and available for tours, cultural events, art exhibitions and private events; from intimate dinner parties and lectures to weddings and banquets for up to 200 guests. Completely restored to its former glory, it is hoped that this elegant house once ingrained at the heart of Cape Town’s social scene, will once again play a significant role in the intellectual life of the Mother City and the upliftment of Muizenberg. For more information on Casa Labia or to book your private event please contact or visit www.casalabia.co.za