Art Museum MAXXI Opens Branch In Palazzo Restored By Russia In Italy's L'Aquila

Art Museum MAXXI Opens Branch in Palazzo Restored by Russia in Italy's L'Aquila

L'AQUILA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th May, 2021) The Rome-based contemporary art museum MAXXI on Friday opened its branch in the city of L'Aquila, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2009, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

The museum is located at the Palazzo Ardinghelli, which was severely damaged in the earthquake and restored with Russian funds. This is commemorated by a plaque in Russian and Italian. The opening ceremony has been postponed multiple times over the COVID-19 lockdown.

The museum told Sputnik that the current exhibition includes 60 works from the Roman branch's permanent exhibition, as well as 8 site-specific installations from contemporary artists, including Russia's Anastasia Potemkina. The latter's work symbolizes nature reclaiming urban space in the wake of the earthquake.

"After the earthquake, the city was left decentralized; it is very hard to live in such a place. The people are doing fantastic work to support themselves and the community. And workers, transplants from other Italian regions and other countries are also a kind of 'invasive species' that somehow restore the city and bring something new," Potemkina told Sputnik.

MAXXI Director Bartolomeo Pietromarchi said that the opening of the museum should drive the development of the city after the earthquake and society after the pandemic.

"This is almost a statement. We would like to declare that we are ready to work with our surrounding space in order to make a truly open museum," Pietromarchi said.

The current exhibition is called "Point of Equilibrium. Thought Space Light from Toyo Ito to Ettore Spalletti" and will open to the public on Sunday. The exhibition is centered around the Italian artist Ettore Spalletti, who passed away two years prior and was mostly known for his light blue monochrome paintings.

In the early hours of April 6, 2009, L'Aquila was hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, resulting in 309 casualties and 70,000 people losing their homes. Russia donated 9 million Euros ($10.9 million) to the city, helping to restore the Palazzo Ardinghelli and St. Gregory the Great Church.

Palazzo Ardinghelli is one of the largest buildings of L'Aquila's historical center. Constructed in 1732-1742 by Italian architect Domenico Fontana, the building is one of the most impressive examples of the late Baroque style of architecture.