Museo delle Culture, Milano
HistoryIn 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.
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
GovernanceThe 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.
ArchitectureBorn 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.
PHOTO @Christian Richters
The “A. Raimondi” archaeological mission in Latin America
Milan-born Antonio Raimondi was one of the most prominent scientists of the 19th century. In 1850, he moved to Peru to pursue and cultivate his scientific interests and, from this country, he sent some of the finds gathered through his explorations to the Museum of Natural History in Milan, contributing to the formation of the ethnographic collections conserved at MUDEC.
Besides being a professor of natural history, Raimondi was genuinely interested in all aspects of human life and, during his extensive journeys across the regions of Peru, he studied not only the natural resources of the country but also the manifold facets of the relationship between man and environment alongside archaeology and ethnography. On the wake of this intriguing scholar, one of the purposes of the "Antonio Raimondi" project, carried out under the auspices and with the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the diachronic research of the relationship between man and environment in the Andes.
Research began in 1999 in Peru with a geophysical survey in the area of Chacas (province of Asunción, Ancash). Over 120 settlements and burial areas from the period between the 15th century BC and the colonial era (16th century AD) were mapped. Beginning in 2001, anthropologist Sofia Venturoli began her ethnographic research of the region, paving the way to integrated archaeological and ethnographic studies that have distinguished the project.
Later, the team broadened the scope of their research expanding it to the nearby province of Huari, where most of the anthropological work was carried out and where a study on various sites around the lagoon of Puruhuay was begun.
These latter studies (2006-2012 campaigns) also focused on the conservation and qualification of numerous ancient remains from various epochs (from the 3rd century BC to the colonial period) found on the sites that look over the hypnotic Andean lake, still today a catalyst for rituals and pilgrimages by local populations.
During the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, the research team began a new archaeological survey in a different Andean region characterized by great cultural and environmental traditions, namely the north-western districts of Argentina. The research initially focused on the area of Brealito/Luracatao in the province of Salta. From 2013 to 2019 it was broadened to the district of Tacuil and its monumental defensive hilltop site, and the nearby La Hoyada Valley. Numerous pre-Hispanic settlements were spotted in the La Hoyada Valley, as well as a side branch of the Qhapaq Ñan , the Inca road system that connected a large part of the South American regions before the Spanish Conquest.
Research activities in Argentina culminated in a series of academic papers and an exhibition focused precisely on the Inca road system.
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.
Milano Città MondoThe Museum of Cultures aims to be a center in constant dialogue with the international communities present in Milan, capable of intercepting the plurality of the city's cultures and restoring its complexity between scientific research, historical testimony and interpretation of current events. In 2011, the Municipal Administration, with the participation of numerous associations and representatives of international communities, launched a process of confrontation and exchange between different cultures, integral and dynamic parts of contemporary and plural Milan: World Cities.
Networks and Cultural Cooperation Office
Modern and Contemporary Art Polo Area
Culture Directorate - Municipality of Milan
Via Tortona 56
Tel. +39 02.884. / 62366/46692/63633
Visit the Milano Città Mondo section
With a patrimony of over 4000 works and bibliographic funds, the Library of the Museum of Cultures represents a point of reference for research in the ethno-anthropological and history of non-European arts in continuous development thanks to bibliographic acquisitions and donations.
The Library of the Museum of Cultures has recently acquired numerous private donations, which have greatly enriched the book heritage. Among these, the most important are: the Aldo Lo Curto donation, consisting of more than 600 elements including books and multimedia material; the Segre donation, of which there are more than 100 works; the Sauro Baldi donation with about 1000 texts, mostly on the civilizations of Latin America; the Ricci donation (through intermediation of the Amici Sala delle Asse Association) with more than 100 books that mainly embraces geographical areas of India, China and Japan.
The museum's book heritage is constantly growing and updated with the most recent international publications.
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.
Services: consultation, reproduction
Reference service (request appointment by email)
In order to guarantee a better service, before going to the office it is recommended to book the volumes by email indicating the title and signature
Access to the Library is allowed only by appointment to be requested by email indicating the volumes requested.
To access the consultation, users must be equipped with personal protective equipment (mask).
The Library will provide the user with a pair of disposable latex or vinyl gloves, to be worn after sanitizing the hands.
In order to limit the co-presence of users, during this period it is possible to request by email the scanning and sending of articles or other materials within the limits allowed by current regulations.
Mayor of Milan
Department of Culture
Marco Edoardo Minoja
Museum of Cultures
Rossella Di Marco
Networks and Cultural Cooperation Office
Art in Public Space
Gruppo 24 ORE
IL SOLE 24 ORE S.p.A.
Mirja Cartia d’Asero
24 ORE CULTURA S.r.l.
Head of MUDEC, Ticketing and Education
Head of Exhibitions, Development and International Relations
Marketing and Events
Ticket 24 ORE
Head of the Editorial Office and Bookshop
Gian Marco Sivieri
Head of Product Communication Office
Maria Vittoria Angelucci
Graphic and Technical Coordination
Ticket and presale services
Gruppo 24 ORE