The Museum

Mudec preserves and exhibits the ethno-anthropological heritage of the Milan City Council collections, organises international shows and exhibitions interpreted through different artistic languages, and proposes a programme of events and initiatives in dialogue with the territory.
The museum is a centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of world cultures. Based on ethnographic collections and in collaboration with diasporic and international communities, it acts as a space for reflection on contemporary issues through visual, performing and sound arts, design and costume.
MUDEC is managed through a public-private partnership between the Municipality of Milan and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE.

Its innovative management, achieved through a public selection process, is one of the first forms of collaboration between profit and non-profit sectors in Italy.
The scientific management of the museum is entrusted to the Municipality of Milan, which is responsible for the conservation and valorisation of the cultural heritage through focused exhibitions, research and the coordination of public programmes.
24 ORE Cultura handles the organisation of major temporary exhibitions and the management of additional services. 24 ORE Cultura is responsible for the organisation of major temporary exhibitions and the management of ancillary services.

Mission

The Museum of Cultures of Milan is a center dedicated to the interdisciplinary research on the world cultures. Taking inspirations from the civic ethnographic collections and in partnership with our communities, we intend to create a place where to dialogue on contemporary themes by the medium of visual, performing and sound art, design and costume.
Fundamental aims of the museum are

> the research, the collection and the preservation of non European cultures, in their material and intangible expressions

> the promotion of a public participation in the enhancement of the past, present and future heritage of the museum

> the promotion of an active dialogue with all the involved communities: the ones identified with Milano Città Mondo, the ones which recognize the heritage of the museum as a fundamental element of their culture identity, the ones which are interested in the museum themes due to their own interest, profession, or just to take inspiration for their creativity.

Governance

The MUDEC presents an innovative form of governance with a partnership between the public and private sectors involving the Milan City Council and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 Ore. Developed through a selection procedure of public transparency, this partnership constitutes an important and pioneering structure capable of respecting the identity of the cultural system and meeting the needs of efficiency and sustainability at the same time. The Milan City Council is responsible for the management, preservation and promotion of the cultural assets as well as supervision of the activities of the Forum of Cultures, while 24 ORE Cultura handles the organization of major exhibitions and additional services.

The significant experience thus developed between the profit and non-profit sectors, the first of its kind in Italy, is based on the sharing of know-how. Generating virtuous dynamics of cultural management, it has led in Milan to the birth of a new cultural hub comprising not only the museum and its exhibitions but also a range of facilities including a cafeteria, design store, restaurant and public car park.

Permanent Collection

MUDEC’s permanent exhibition is divided into 5 rooms, which display a selection of objects from our collections from America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The current exhibition ‘Milano Globale. Il mondo visto da qui‘ (i.e. ‘Global Milan. The world seen from here’) is dedicated to the theme of globalisation, exploring Milan’s relations with the rest of the world.
Inaugurated in 2021, the exhibition was partially redesigned in October 2023 with the inclusion of new works and the creation of a space dedicated to temporary audiovisual installations.
In addition, objects recently added to the museum’s collections will be displayed in the curved display cases of the Agora, forming the ‘Donor Gallery‘.

Mudec Storage

In the Mudec storerooms, you can admire works of cultural heritage divided according to the context of their origin: Africa, Asia, America, South-East Asia and finally Oceania. There are also some “transversal” collections: Islamic art, musical instruments, hats and fans, and a series of objects for educational workshops.
The collections consist of more than 7,000 objects covering a chronological range from 1500 BC to the 20th century. The oldest objects were bequeathed by various Milanese public institutions, such as the Brera Archaeological Heritage Museum, the Municipal Art Museum and the Natural History Museum; the most recent ones were added in recent years, with the realisation of the Museo delle Culture project, through purchases and donations from private individuals.

The projects

The museum also curates a series of projects which, through different formats and languages, address a vast range of themes, from art to photography, from ethnography to sustainability, promoting active dialogue and discussion with citizens.

Milano Città Mondo is a project of the City of Milan, Mudec and Ufficio Progetti Interculturali, Reti e Cooperazione, born in 2015. It represents a window on the cultural complexity of the city. Milano Città Mondo promotes transcultural activities with an exhibition and performance character: conferences, readings, workshops and courses are held in the “Khaled al-Asaad Space of Cultures”. Milano Città Mondo, through the urban network of associations, institutions, activists and researchers that it has developed over the years, promotes participatory activities based on the themes of the museum’s current exhibition projects, becoming in effect its public programme.

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MUDEC’s exhibition programme goes beyond the museum’s walls through a series of activities promoted by the Public Art Office: murals, performances and installations reach different areas of the city of Milan. The focus on different forms of urban art is combined with the dissemination of MUDEC’s cultural offer in the territory.

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The Museum of Cultures is developing a provenance research project. In the process of analysing and studying the collections, the museum’s curatorial department analyses the way in which each object was collected and acquired, and reconstructs the contexts underlying changes in ownership and possession.

Among the activities dedicated to provenance, the Guillermo Schmidt Pizarro project, in which Mudec participates along with other international institutions, is of particular importance.

Schmidt Pizarro was a famous collector of Peruvian origin, active in Europe and the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. He sold numerous pre-Hispanic and colonial Peruvian artefacts to the most important museums of his time, sometimes breaking up homogeneous lots. Mudec owns 91 objects acquired by Schmidt Pizarro in the 1930s.

The importance of this research is in line with our museum’s efforts to trace the origin of each artefact in our collections in the name of transparency, in order to restore dignity and context to objects that are valuable for reconstructing the material culture of South American native peoples. 

Project Coordinators:
Carolina Orsini, Anna Antonini and Federica Villa
Information and applications for possible collaboration: c.bibliocultureansando@comune.milano.it
Scientific publications
Life of a Peruvian Art Collector: Guillermo Schmidt Pizarro
Museums on the art market

The “Antonio Raimondi” Archaeological Mission, under the auspices and with the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to carry out a diachronic research of the relationship between man and environment in the Andes, based on Raimondi’s research.

The naturalist, born in Milan, moved to Peru in 1850, from where he sent some of the finds to the Milan Museum of Natural History, contributing to the formation of the ethnographic collections conserved at MUDEC.

The research began in 1999 and, over time, has covered various geographical areas: the Chacas area (Province of Asunción, Ancash, Peru); the Province of Huari (Peru); the Puruhay Lagoon (Peru, 2006-2012 campaigns); the Brealito/Luracatao area (Province of Salta, Argentina, 2011-2012 campaigns); the Tacuil area and the valley of La Hoyada (2013-2019 campaigns) with the branch of the Qhapaq Ñan, the great Inca road that connected a large part of South American territory before the conquest.

Since 2020, the research team has returned to Peru, once again in the foothills of the Cordillera Blanca, in the Central Andes. Here, excavations began at the large site of Tumshukayko, occupied since 3000 B.C.

The project was supported locally by several indigenous institutions, such as the Unión de los Pueblos de la Nación Diaguita-Salta in Argentina, the Alcaldes of Puruhuay and of Ñawpamarca in Peru. Currently it enjoys the support of the Asociación de los Vecinos of Tumshukayko and the Asociación Caraz Cultura. At an institutional level, partnerships have been established with the Municipality of Hari and, most recently, with the Municipality of Caraz.

International sponsorship was provided by the following institutions: the Italian Embassy in Lima and Buenos Aires, the Italian Institute of Culture in Lima, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and the Museum of Anthropology in Salta.

Several universities are contributing to the research, including the Free University of Languages and Communication IULM in Milan, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Furthermore, several students and scholars from different Italian and Latin American universities have been taking part in the project over the years

Project Coordinator: Carolina Orsini

Visit the mission blog in Spanish
Visit the mission page on the “Italian” website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Map of Colonial Odonymy is the result of historical-archival research commissioned by the Area Museo delle Culture, Progetti interculturali e Arte nello Spazio Pubblico and carried out by the Ferruccio Parri National Institute.

The historians who carried out the research identified around one hundred and fifty streets and squares in Milan’s toponymy named after soldiers, explorers, battles, cities and other places or people linked to Italian colonial history. Thanks to the study of the municipal naming regulations kept in the archives, it has been possible to trace the years and motivations. The list also includes those cultural institutions and monuments that played a central role in the debate on Italian colonialism.

The map is therefore a useful tool for raising awareness of Italian colonial history and its impact on the urban fabric. Mudec has placed this work in a wider panorama of reflection on colonial memories, starting from the dialogue with some personalities of the Habesha community in Milan and from the confrontation, which it wishes to be constant and permanent, with citizens of diasporic and non-diasporic origin on the themes of colonialism.

Link to the map
Press Release
Video of the presentation day



MU - MUDEC United

MU – MUDEC United is the publication of the Museum of Cultures of Milan, in English, available at MUDEC and in the most important outlets of style magazines and international museums.

Each issue addresses a different theme starting from the Focus Exhibitions. It is neither a catalog nor a pure magazine, but a third object, which arises from the generative process of ideas (primarily visual) that come out of the Museum and open it to the world.

Architecture

Mudec was born in 2015 from an industrial archaeological recovery operation in the area of the former Ansaldo factory.

The exhibition area on the first floor is arranged around the agora, a large central covered square, and hosts the permanent collection, focus rooms and large temporary exhibitions. The auditorium, a three-hundred-seat theatre dedicated to the performing and visual arts, completes the space.

The ground floor houses the library, the multi-purpose hall – the “Khaled al-Asaad” Space of Cultures – the restoration workshop and the collections storage rooms. It also offers the following services: bistro, design shop, ticket office, cloakroom. Finally, a space dedicated to children, the MUDEC Lab, which offers guided tours and fun themed workshops related to the museum’s itinerary and exhibitions.

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

Mudec - Museo delle culture

PHOTO @Christian Richters

The Library

With a patrimony of over 7,000 works, the Library of the Museo delle Culture is a point of reference for research in ethno-anthropology and the history of non-European arts. The library has updated its heritage with volumes on public art and novels by Italian and rational authors. Thanks to acquisitions, exchanges and bibliographical donations, the library’s heritage is constantly growing. 

Over the years, the Library of the Museo delle Culture has acquired numerous donations from private individuals relating to world cultures. The most important of these are: the Lo Curto donation, consisting of more than 600 items including books and multimedia material, and the Sauro Baldi donation with around 1,000 texts on Latin American civilisations.

In 2022 the Library received an important donation of over 2000 volumes in Italian and Japanese from Dr. Lia Beretta, a historian and expert on Italians in Japan in the Meiji era (1867 – 1912). The list of volumes in Italian can be downloaded from the link. The archive, which contains over 200 files of material, is currently being reorganised.

email: C.BiblioCultureAnsaldo@comune.milano.it

Library of the Mudec
Address: via Tortona, 56 – 20144 Milan
The entrance to the library is located in the lobby to the right of the ticket office.

The library is present in the OPAC of the LOMBARDY REGION
Biblioteche Regione Lombardia

Through the advanced search it is possible to select the Library of the Museum of Cultures and search for available volumes.

Library of the Mudec
Address: via Tortona, 56 – 20144 Milan
The entrance to the library is located in the lobby to the right of the ticket office.

The library is present in the OPAC of the LOMBARDY REGION
Biblioteche Regione Lombardia

Through the advanced search it is possible to select the Library of the Museum of Cultures and search for available volumes.

ACCESS MODALITIES

Access to the Reading Room is free only on Thursdays from 3pm to 7pm exclusively for consulting volumes owned by the library.

On other days, access to the Library is permitted only by appointment, which can be requested via email indicating the volumes requested. The privacy policy is available at the link

In order to limit the co-presence of users, it is possible to request via email the scanning and sending of articles or other material within the limits permitted by current legislation.

The library is open exclusively for the collection and return service of volumes of the Milan Library System at the following times:

Monday: 10am – 3pm
Tuesday: 10am – 3pm
Wednesday: 10am – 3pm
Thursday: 3 – 7 pm
Friday: 10am – 3pm

 

Mayor of Milan
Giuseppe Sala

Department of Culture
Tommaso Sacchi

Culture Director
Domenico Piraina

Area Museum of Cultures, Intercultural Projects and Art in Public Space
Director

Marina Pugliese

MUDEC
Museum of Cultures

Coordinator
Renato Rossetti

Administrative office
Rossella Di Marco
Rosa Regine

Conservatory
Carolina Orsini
Sara Rizzo

Assistant curator
Contemporary Art
Katya Inozemtseva 

Technical office
Giuseppe Braga

Secretariat
Susi Silvestre
Patrizia Sonia Farano

Communication
Gaia D’Onofrio

INTERCULTURAL PROJECTS, NETWORKS AND COOPERATION OFFICE

Coordination
Bianca Aravecchia
Alessandra Cecchinato

Conservatory
Sara Chiesa
Anna Antonini

ART OFFICE IN PUBLIC SPACES

Coordination
Alice Cosmai
Franca Faragò
Aldo Marchesini

Conservatory
Alessandro Oldani

UNIVERSAL CIVIL SERVICE

Lorenzo Gandola
Giorgia Garuti
Giulia Longoni
Francesca Salemi

HERITAGE ENHANCEMENT AND OFFICE SAFETY AREA

Director
Fabrizio Chirico

Museum Services Management and Development Unit
Organizational Position
Monica Chiapello

Modern Art Museums Area command office
Directing Instructor
Eugenio Maserati

Headquarters contacts
Maurizio Gambarin
Elena Marchiol

Museum operators
Mudec 

GRUPPO 24 ORE
IL SOLE 24 ORE S.P.A.

President
Edoardo Garrone

CEO
Mirja Cartia d’Asero

24 ORE CULTURA S.R.L.

President
Mirja Cartia d’Asero

CEO
Federico Silvestri

SECTOR MANAGERS

Mudec, Ticketing, Education and Communication
Simona Serini

Exhibitions, Development and International Relations Office
Paola Cappitelli

Editorial Office and Bookshop
Chiara Savino

EXHIBITIONS OFFICE

Coordination
Francesca Calabretta

Coordination and Foreign Development
Francesca Cavola
Elena Calasso
Raffaella Ferraro
Lucia Frassoni
Roberta Pagani
Giuseppe Scandiani

Registrar
Sandra Serafini

MARKETING AND EVENTS

Coordination
Daniela Piuzzi

Francesco Cassinari
Victoria Sara Kaspar

With the collaboration of
Erica Kullmann
Alessia Rampoldi

COMMUNICATION OFFICE

Coordination
Martina Amadessi
Rebecca Fabbri

Digital Communciation and Social Media
Delfina Grassi
with the collaboration of Claudia Bambacigno

Graphic and Technical Coordination
Maurizio Bartomioli

Press office
Gruppo 24 ORE
Ginevra Cozzi
Elettra Occhini

SERVICES

Operation of museum services and ticketing
Giorgia Montagna

Coordination of museum services
Cinzia Leccioli

Educational Services Specialist
Martina Fusaro

Groups and Ticketing Office
Davide Negri
Marco Nidasio
Elisabetta Palestra

EDITORIAL OFFICE

Coordination
Stefania Vadrucci
Gian Marco Sivieri
Giulia Vielmi

Marketing and Libreria Italia
Monica Panciera 

BOOKSHOP OFFICE

Verdiana Iannazzo
Marika Valbuzzi

Editorial Operation and Bookshop
Monica Ricca 

General secretary
Elisabetta Colombo