Museo delle Culture, Milano


In line with constant efforts on the part of the municipal authorities to preserve the memory of the economic and social processes that have shaped the city’s identity, the Milan City Council took steps in 1990 to buy the old Ansaldo industrial plant at Porta Genova and use it for cultural services. The disused factories, authentic monuments of industrial archaeology, have been converted into studios, workshops and new creative spaces.
In continuity with its original vocation but also in response to the need for recognition and revaluation manifested by the foreign communities that have found opportunities to develop and put down roots in the city, the Milan Council decided to create the Mudec Museum of Cultures in the old Ansaldo area to house and display the municipal collections of ethnographic material.


Born out of a salvage operation of industrial archaeology on the site of the old Ansaldo factory in the Tortona area, the Mudec is a meeting place for cultures and communities. The complex comprises different spaces to offer visitors and the city a whole range of cultural events and facilities spread out over an area of 17,000 square metres. The display area is laid out around a large, covered central plaza on the first floor, which hosts the section of the museum with the works of the permanent collection and the rooms used for major exhibitions as well as the auditorium, a theatre with three hundred seats devoted to performances and the visual arts.
The ground-floor reception area includes a bistro, design store, ticket office, cloakroom, the Forum of Cultures, a conference hall/multifunctional space, educational facility, restoration workshop and repositories open to small groups for guided visits. Mudec Junior is a space specially designed for kids, where children too can come into contact with the world’s different cultures through games, multimedia equipment and manual workshops.
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz
Mudec - Museo delle culture
© Photo OskarDaRiz

Forum della Città Mondo. World City Forum

The Museum of Cultures aims to be a hub in constant dialogue with the international communities present in Milan, able to intercept the plurality of the city’s cultures and return to it the complexity of scientific research, historical testimony and interpretation of current events.
With these aims in mind, the municipal administration has signed an agreement with the Associazione Città Mondo [Global City Association] intended to give substance to the intercultural nature of the space by means of the active participation of the international communities in scheduling the Museum’s activities. For this purpose, the agreement envisages offering the use of two areas of the Museum:
the “Organisational Activities Space” of 115 m2, as an organisational site of Associazione Città Mondo and location for meetings of the Working Groups of the Forum: Museum of Cultures, Women and Culture, Food and Urban Gardens, Communications and Cultural Events, Participation and Active Citizenship.

the Space of the Cultures "Khaled al– Asaad" (137 m2) is a creative workshop for carrying out cultural and exhibition activities in the various languages of art (music, visual arts, performance, etc), open to the public and in keeping with the aims of the Museum, including conferences, courses, workshops and intercultural meetings.
This space will be used on a shared basis with other partners and will also host various activities approved by the Museum’s Scientific Management.
The Associazione Città Mondo, set up in 2013, coordinates the activities of the Global City Forum promoted by the Municipal Cultural Department since 2011 as a place of participation for more than 500 associations representing the numerous international communities present throughout the territory.
The Association is a second level body currently made up of 89 associations representing the various international communities, of which 20 are from the Americas, 23 from Africa, 25 from Europe and 12 from Asia and Oceania.

The Museum of Cultures Working Group in collaboration with Associazione Città Mondo has planned and plans constantly a series of cultural initiatives, events and conferences, to be held in the Space of the Cultures "Khaled al– Asaad". The ideas, in line with the Museum’s mission, come from members of the World City Forum and selected in agreement with the MUDEC scientific management team. These include a proposal for dialogue between the Armenian and Italian cultures to promote the preservation of the Armenian Artistic Heritage and a press conference on the topic of Arab and Indian graphic representation. Staying with the theme of writing, there is also a presentation on calligraphy as an art form in China and Japan and lastly a presentation of 35 street games from all over the world

The library

The library of the Museum of Cultures represents a reference point for the research and the studies on non European arts. The heritage counts more than 4000 titles, growing constantly. The bibliographic funds are open to the public by appointment.

Mudec Library - Museo Delle Culture– via Tortona, 56 - 20144 Milano

from Monday to Friday 9.30am - 1.30pm by appointment

Recently the Library of the Museum of Cultures has acquired a number of private donations, which have greatly enriched its heritage. Among these the most important are: the Aldo Lo Curto archive, with more than 600 items (books and multimedia material); the Segre fund (more than 100 books); The Sauro Baldi fund (almost 1000 texts, mainly on Latin American civilizations); The Ricci fund (via Amici Sala delle Asse Association) with more than 100 books on the arts of India, China and Japan. Recently, a book exchange program with other museums and institutions has been developed, so the library collections are constantly increasing.

Mudec Library - ex Ansaldo - via Tortona, 56 - 20144 Milano
phone. 02/88463724
Institution: Comune di Milano
Times: by appointment
Service: consultation, reproduction
Library heritage: 4.000 titles (disciplines: art of the peoples of the world, anthropology, cultural anthropology, ethnography, museum design, discoveries and explorations, ethnomedicine); art catalogs; journals; videos; photos.
Special funds: Aldo Lo Curto Fund
Type of administrative and functional: specialized library belonging to the municipality.


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 the Forum della 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.


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.

Mayor of Milan
Giuseppe Sala

Councillor for Culture
Filippo del Corno

Director of Culture
Marco Edoardo Minoja

Museo delle Culture
Anna Maria Montaldo

Conservation Office
Carolina Orsini
Giorgia Barzetti

Wanda Galbiati

Administrative Office
Eugenio Arcieri
Fabiana Panin
Maura Basile

Technical Office
Giuseppe Braga

Press Office
Comune di Milano
Elena Conenna

Equipment, showcases
and lighting


Common areas Furnishing



Gruppo 24 ORE

Edoardo Garrone


Paolo Fietta

Federico Silvestri

MUDEC and Education Manager
Simona Serini

Museum Services
Cinzia Leccioli

Irene Alice Aliotta

Head of Development Office and International Relations
Paola Cappitelli

Exhibitions Office
Francesca Calabretta
Elena Bottinelli
Silvia Iannelli
Alessandra Paulitti
Giuseppe Scandiani

Sandra Serafini


Editorial Office and Bookshop
Chiara Savino

Bookshop Coordination
Stefania Vadrucci
Verdiana Iannazzo

Editorial Office
Chiara Bellifemine

Iconographic coordination and Libreria Italia
Gian Marco Sivieri

Administrative management
Massimo Guastella

Marketing and events
Daniela Piuzzi

Communication, Promotion and Social Media 
Sara Lombardini
Martina Amadessi
Fabrizio Perleonardi

Head of Technical
and Graphics Department
Maurizio Bartomioli



General Secretariat
Elisabetta Colombo

Press Office Gruppo 24 ORE
Ginevra Cozzi
Elettra Occhini

Ticket Office
Ticket 24 ORE

Antenna International