The MAXXI turns 10: a story for the future

Published on Monday, 17 February 2020

“Building is far more difficult than destroying” were the words used by President of the MAXXI Foundation President Giovanna Melandri  to open the press conference to announce the National Museum of 21st Century Arts’  2020 programme on February 6. The MAXXI will be celebrating its first decade, in actual fact, with no fewer than 18 new exhibitions centring on both its own collection and special artistic projects.  

Giovanna Melandri thanked the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) and the founder members of the Foundation, namely the Region of Lazio and Enel, emphasising their pivotal role in guaranteeing the quality and quantity of the Museum’s cultural content over the last 10 years. Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini explained how the building of the MAXXI was a farsighted idea, declaring: “This is not like other museums. Rather it is the museum the State chose to dedicate to contemporary art”.

Enel Italia CEO Carlo Tamburi spoke about the Group’s invaluable and satisfying experience of working as part of a team over the years as the Foundation’s first private founder member.  “We would like to thank Giovanna Melandri for the strength, determination and sense of leadership that makes all the difference and sets MAXXI apart from other museums.”

The MAXXI, which officially opened on May 30 2010, has certainly proved itself to be a worthwhile gamble. Over the last 10 years, it has attracted more than three million visitors and generated almost 13 million euros. During this time it has staged 14 major shows drawn from its own collection, 106 exhibitions, 32 focuses, 82 special projects and more than 2,000 cultural events.

2020 promises a long list of exciting new events with two major exhibitions having opened at the end of 2019: “Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture” (until April 13) and “On the spiritual matter of art.” We are, in fact, the main partner to the latter, a reflection on the most intimate issues of the human condition by 19 artists in dialogue with a selection of archaeological finds from the city’s main museums.  There will also be two high-profile interviews to mark the closure of the exhibition: a talk with Israeli artist Michal Rovner on March 5, in which she will talk about the genesis and evolution of her artistic endeavour, and a keynote address,  “In a time of poverty,” by Massimo Recalcati on March 7. Thanks to the “Enel Tuesdays” initiative, there will also be a discount on ticket prices for the Museum and exhibition until March 8.

In this, the 10th anniversary year, a lot of  space will be devoted to Italian creativity, starting on February 19 with the REAL_ITALY exhibition, a joint production with the MiBACT, which will be followed on April 9 by a retrospective devoted to Aldo Rossi entitled “The architect and the city,” and by a collection of 200 photographic portraits by Giovanni Gastel which will run until 20 May. This cultural programme will be further enriched by a range of educational workshops and laboratories throughout the year.

One of the most eagerly awaited events of 2020 is, however, the opening of MAXXI L’Aquila, scheduled for June 21, in the stunning and now completely restored Palazzo Ardinghelli. This project was entrusted by MIBACT to the Rome Museum and developed with the participation of the local communities to help relaunch the city which was devastated by the 2009 earthquake.  And so contemporary art helps with opening up to the future, just as the MAXXI has been doing over the last 10 years. Happy birthday!

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