The Museum of Cultured Civilizations of MilanThe MUDEC, the Museum of Cultures of Milan, is the city's cultural museum. There are permanent and changing exhibitions of diverse cultures from the past and the present, from all over Europe and the world.
MUDEC stands for "Museo delle Culture". With more than 7,000 exhibits from around the world, the museum’s goal is to bring the Italian public closer to the cultures of the foreigners living in Italy and to the different cultures of Milan.
The museum's permanent collection was born from an ethnographic collection of objects previously collected by Italian missionaries and travelers from around the world. Its goal is to be an anthropological center for the presentations of living cultures, and today it also holds many exhibits from present cultures from all over the world.
Located 3 kilometers southwest of the city center and the Duomo, the museum is housed in a huge and impressive building in its modernist design. The museum's modern and unique architecture is a worthy and intriguing place to visit for an enthusiast of cultures and anthropology.
The Museum's ArchitectureThe MUDEC was built on the ruins of a factory where iron locomotives were used for trains. At one point the municipality of Milan bought it and asked for proposals from architects to turn the building into a museum. The winner was the British architect David Chipperfield, who was tasked with designing the industrial building and designing it for use as a museum.
The result is beautiful and incredibly modern. Chipperfield was able to create a flowing and contemporary structure, light and prominent, but clean enough to allow and respect the exhibits and items shown here.
A staircase leads the visitors up to the amorphous entrance hall rising from the street level, which is clearly shapeless. This flowing, soft nature is enhanced by the bright light that enters through the sealed glass from which it is made.
Visitors enter from the bright entrance to dark exhibition halls, reminiscent of private exhibition rooms from the past. In such dark rooms the rich Europeans used to boast and impress their guests with rare and expensive objects brought from afar. This is how the modern museum corresponds to the aristocratic past and the pre-museum exhibition, and it is still fascinating to present exhibits from the cultures of the present era, as well as from ancient cultures in the past.