Museum of the 20th Century scheduled to open in ’09

I have translated an article found online regarding a Museum of the 20th Century which is scheduled to open in 2009 in Milan.

In 1895 it was the Lombard Scapigliati Group who was upset because Milan did not have a Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1933 it was Depero, Marinetti, and Prampolini who were calling for the birth of an art gallery dedicated to Boccioni and a gallery for futurist and avant-garde European art. Since then, despite the requests and promises, not much has changed. Now, however, it seems that something is happening and that, the Commune and its inhabitants, having overcome their differences regarding expropriation in the interest of the public, Milan will finally have the longed-for Museum of the 20th Century. The workers ought to begin in November and finish, if everything goes according to plan, by February 11, 2009, 100 years after the publication of the Manifesto of Futurism, which however happened in Paris in 1909.Such talk is because this anniversary is important for the principal Lombard town, proud of its splendid collection of futurist art, which will find its proper place in the new museum and because, in the coming months, Palazzo Reale will host exhibitions dedicated to Boccioni (October 2006), to Balla (October 2007), and to Futurism in general (October 2008).

Italo Rota, winner of an international competition held in 2000, will design the museum space of 4,000 square meters making use of the Arengario and the second floor of the Palazzo Reale, which is located in the most central part of the city: Piazza Duomo. In order to welcome visitors at the entrance, there will be five statues by Arturo Martini, but the start of the exhibition will begin with the very famous Quarto Stato (1901) by Pellizza da Volpedo, once housed in the Villa Reale.

The Collection of the CIMAC (Civico Museo d’arte Contemporanea) boasts a patrimony of circa 3,000 works. Not able to show them all, 400 have been chosen and will be displayed in chronological order based on four fundamental themes: the Jucker Collection, Boccioni and Futurism, The 20s and 30s, and The 50s and 60s. There will also be areas dedicated to groups or single artists and areas which will highlight the most important themes. The strong points will be Futurism, Metaphysical Art, the important Milanese artists of the 1900s (Carra, Sironi, Martini), Morandi, Melotti, Fontana, and Spatialism, the Novcento artists and the Arte Povera group. European Art will be represented by works from the Jucker Collection, which holds works by Braque, Kandinsky, Klee, Laurens, Leger, Matisse, Mondrian, and Picasso. These works will be alongside the sculpture of Garnallo and Gonzalez which are municipal property. The second floor of the Palazzo Reale will host the inseparable donated collections of Marini and Vismara, the futurist works from the 20s and 30s, the Futurist Archives and a room dedicated to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the theoretician and promoter of the group. The Museum of the 20th Century will cost about 25 million Euros and will be equipped with three restaurants, a room for temporary exhibitions, a specialized bookshop, a center for research and various information access points and which will remain open until late at night in order to allow everyone to see and appreciate the collection. In the future, as the former Consular of Culture, Stefano Zecchi, suggested, to connect the twin buildings of the Arengario with an underground tunnel where it will be possible to find works dated after 1970, which ought to be shown in “unnamable” Museum of the Present in Bovisa. It may also display the collection of the autograph letters of Marinetti which an antique dealer is selling for 5,000 Euros and which the Head of Municipal Culture, Vittorio Sgarbi, is inclined to buy.

For more info download an article from La Repubblica.

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