The International Balzan Foundation was established in Lugano in 1956 thanks to the generosity of Angela Lina Balzan who had come into a considerable inheritance on the death of her father, Eugenio. She destined this wealth to honour her father's memory. Eugenio Francesco Balzan was born in Badia Polesine, near Rovigo (Northern Italy), on April 20, 1874 into a family of once wealthy landowners.
He spent almost his entire working life at Milan's leading daily paper “Corriere della Sera”.
The Balzan Foundation, which is international in character and scope, acts jointly through two Foundations: one under Italian law and the other under Swiss law.
The International E. Balzan Prize Foundation – “Prize”, with a registered office in Milan, has the aim to promote culture, science, and the most meritorious initiatives in the cause of humanity, peace and brotherhood among peoples, regardless of nationality, race or creed. This aim is attained through the annual award of four prizes in two general fields: literature, the moral sciences and the arts; medicine and the physical, mathematical and natural sciences.
The International E. Balzan Prize Foundation – “Fund”, with a registered office in Zurich, shares these aims and administers Eugenio Balzan’s estate.