The Sixties

The Foundry forged works which were destined to become great symbols, such as the RAI horses of 1961, or to play an eternal role in the spiritual life of many people. In recognition of the work carried out in that period, in 1961 the Foundry was awarded the Ambrogino d’Oro, a prestigious accolade given to those who have excelled in various fields of knowledge, giving prestige to the city of Milan.

Italy's attention was focused on America in that period, and so was the Battaglia's. From overseas the "American Battle Monuments Commission" awarded the Foundry the production of most of the bronze monuments for its military cemeteries located in many parts of the world, and the Australian War Memorial was cast to commemorate the Marines in Canberra (1966 ), as were other equestrian pieces created for places where the war had brought destruction.

If the Foundry enjoyed a global role, the world also played a role in the Foundry: hospitality was offered to Italian and foreign artists in its large studio, giving them the opportunity to turn their works into bronze and model sketches or statues on-site, however large. Foundry workers are players in a process where they themselves provide the driving power: at the Battaglia this was true both in terms of casting and in historical terms. In the postwar years Monday was declared a day off, but the Foundry was busy all weekends and nights, when "we slept in the foundry in order to kindle the furnaces." In 1974 the Foundry presented President Leone of Italy with the Messina horses, and in 1979 the replica of the famous gilded and silver-plated bronze Byzantine horses was cast, perched above the central door of the basilica of San Marco in Venice. When the three founding members all died in the space of a few years in the Sixties, the handover was difficult. "Foundry workers aren't easy people", and the Battaglia's work wasn't easy either, but it survived thanks to people who performed more than one job at a time and thanks to "the Brera guys" who came to work there "in exchange for a kiln to ply their trade".

In the early seventies the sons of founders Frigerio and Pogliani decided to sell out (1970-71), but the workers dissuaded them by occupying the Foundry. The two parties had to look for and find an agreement: Staffico bought the property and the area where the Foundry still stands today, thus enabling the partners to pay their debts to suppliers and pay off all workers, who then took control of the Foundry by joining together as a cooperative and undertook to complete all outstanding work within two months.

The industrial foundry section was closed down, while the workers, all six of those left from a team of fifty, in order to guarantee the continuity of the craft "enlisted skilled local craftsmen to help out". All these events unfolding in Italy did not diminish the Foundry's standing, at home or abroad. The relationship with customers has always been based on trust and that is why in 1992 the Rodin Foundation commissioned the Battaglia with the restoration of one of their statues. Also, in the seventies, the Belgian artist Mariette Teugles, who was a follower of the European movement of Waldemar Otto (1929), Hildebrand and Wider, chose to cast her works at the Battaglia. She was emulated in Italy by Domenico Colanzi (Archi, 1944), a regular fixture at the Battaglia Foundry, who started casting “his soft plastic synthesis of timeless human moments "playing with matter and its contrasting aspects.