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Brera Modern in Milan to Open This Fall After 50 Years of Delays

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MILAN (AP) — Officials announced Monday that the Brera Modern will be inaugurated this fall, 52 years and 39 Italian governments after it was first envisioned. The new museum, located just steps away from Milan’s renowned Brera Painting Gallery, will showcase more than 100 contemporary art pieces from Brera’s collection, most of which have been in storage.

This highly anticipated project has faced numerous delays over the years, with the most recent setbacks including the discovery of asbestos and issues with the conditioning system. The new museum is now set to officially open its doors on Dec. 7, coinciding with the yearly gala premiere of La Scala’s opera season, a major event that draws the European cultural elite to Milan.

The launch of Brera Modern marks a notable achievement for Angelo Crespi, who assumed the role of director in February. Crespi’s appointment was part of efforts by the far-right-led government to place Italians at the helm of significant cultural institutions. His predecessor, British Canadian historian James Bradburne, had been instrumental in pushing forward the Modern’s completion but was ineligible to continue after serving two four-year terms.

Established in 1809, the Brera is famed for housing masterpieces by legendary artists such as Canova, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Hayez. Before its official opening, the new museum at Palazzo Citterio has already captivated the public’s interest, drawing 30,000 visitors over three weeks for a temporary exhibition. To further engage the community, the museum plans to host concerts in its outdoor garden during the summer.

The addition of Brera Modern is expected to significantly boost the overall visitor numbers for the Brera complex. Projections indicate the combined institutions will attract 500,000 visitors this year, an increase from the 466,709 visitors recorded last year. This upward trend continues from pre-pandemic highs of approximately 410,000 visitors.

Source: Associated Press