Chipperfield’s Museo delle Culture for Milan to open this October

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The museum for non-European art and objects is a significant test of public-private partnerships in Italy

By Ada Masoero. Web only
Published online: 03 April 2014


The Museo delle Culture has been in pipeline since 1999 and cost the city €60m

Milan’s long-awaited Museo delle Culture, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, is due to open in October in the city’s cultural district of Tortona. The museum, which has been in pipeline since 1999 and cost the city €60m, is an important test of the public-private model in Italy.

The city will oversee the museum’s permanent collection, while a private company will run the institution’s commercial enterprises, its education programme and organise two exhibitions a year. This joint venture is of particular significance in Italy because public-private partnerships in the cultural sector are still viewed with some suspicion. Dwindling government funds for art and culture, however, have created a vacuum that only the private sector can fill.

With 780 sq. m of permanent exhibition space, and 1,500 sq. m space for temporary exhibitions, the museum will house a wide array of non-European cultural artefacts, drawn from the city’s 8,00-strong holdings. These range from pre-Colombian works and objects of anthropological significance to Modern and contemporary art, fashion and design. Works not on display will be kept on-site and visitors will have access to the storage areas.

The director of the permanent exhibition, Marina Pugliese, an art historian and also the director of Milan’s museum for Italian Modern art, says she wants the collection “to create a multidisciplinary and multicultural dialogue with contemporary culture”. The museum’s opening temporary show will be dedicated to the many international exhibitions held in Milan between 1850 and 1950, which introduced non-European art and ideas to the city.

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