The MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome opened ten years ago this weekend.
The New York Times: “What would Pope Urban VIII have made of MAXXI, the new museum of contemporary art designed by Zaha Hadid on the outskirts of this city’s historic quarter? My guess is that he would have been ecstatic.
“This 17th-century pope, one of the most prominent cultural patrons in Roman history, understood that great cities are not frozen in time. He loved dreaming up lavish new projects over breakfast with his artistic soul mate, the Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini…
“MAXXI jolts this city back to the present like a thunderclap. Its sensual lines seem to draw the energy of the city right up into its belly. The galleries would probably have sent a shiver of joy up the old pope’s spine. Even Bernini, I suspect, would have appreciated their curves.
“The completion of the museum is proof that this city is no longer allergic to the new and a rebuke to those who still see Rome as a catalogue of architectural relics for scholars or tourists. It affirms the view that cities thrive when each generation attempts to rise to the challenges of the past while remaining true to contemporary values. That means that yes, we too — the living — have something to contribute.”
Photograph by Hufton+CrowSource: zaha hadid