Rome's new mayor threatens to demolish the Ara Pacis Museum

So while we were on holiday in Sorrento this news broke - which explains the spike in traffic to the site the last few days. Personally it sounds like a lot of hot air, and a lot of free publicity for the new (reportedly far right) mayor. This seems to be a tried and true trick of Italian politicians. Does anyone think that a brand new building like this is going to be razed? Would the Romans want to be compared to the Taliban? I don't think so - but for now it generates some news, sells some newspapers and makes the new mayor look tough.

"The famous American architect Richard Meier has denounced as incredible plans by Rome’s new right-wing mayor to dismantle a state-of-the-art museum designed by Mr Meier that opened just two years ago.

The white marble, glass and steel structure housing the Ara Pacis, an ancient Roman altar with a sculptured frieze on the banks of the Tiber, is regarded by some architectural experts as a masterpiece. Others, however, find it hideous, with some critics dismissing it as being “like a suburban swimming pool or a giant petrol station”. Silvio Berlusconi, whose centre-Right alliance won a sweeping victory in national elections last month, once described it as monstrous.

Gianni Alemanno, a member of the “post-Fascist” Alleanza Nazionale who overturned decades of centre-Left rule in a run-off election on Sunday and Monday, said bluntly that “Meier’s building is a construction to be scrapped”. He added that this was not his” top priority”, leaving the timing of the demolition unclear."

More here.



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2 Comments

This is really ridiculous. The contrast between the state-of-the-art museum, both at the inside and outside, and the ancient surroundings makes this museum the link between old and new.
As Silvio Berlusconi is talking about "it as monstrous" then I believe he never made a walk through Rome.

This is political grandstanding gone wrong. Even if the exterior wall is a problem - which is debatable - the way the Italian politicians have gone about this is more monstrous than the structure. Pathetic politicking by the Italians in this case.

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