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National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) Celebrates First Birthday

The National Museum of XXI Century Arts designed by Zaha Hadid is celebrating its first birthday having opened to the public on 30 May 2010 after a three-day inauguration (27, 28, 29). To mark the occasion there was a great family party on Saturday 28 May: the museum piazza was awash with the colours of the MAXXI windmills made by the visitors with the museum’s Education Department staff. Visitors to the museum received also an exclusive limited edition gift: a pin realised in collaboration with Il Gioco del Lotto and inspired by the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid’s architecture.

479,628 visitors in total (through to 30 May 2011) of which around 110,000 participating in the events hosted or produced by the museum | 310 days of opening | 1,547 visitors per day | over $2,600,000 taken in annual ticket sales | an average of $14 spent per visitor (the same as the Metropolitan Museum in NY). 1,100 guided tours with 22,000 participants | 500 school visits with 12,000 students | 210 workshops for 5,000 children | 18,000 MAXXI catalogues sold (the best seller being the guide to the building and the collections with 12,000 copies sold) | 3,132,471 website hits | 24,900 members of the MAXXI community | 1,250 users and 800 MAXXI B.A.S.E. (Library, Archives, Research, Publishing) card holders in three months. | 20 exhibitions | 200 events produced or hosted (seminars on the history of art and the current exhibitions, encounters with artists, performances and concerts, book and magazine presentations) and over 3,000 accredited Italian and international journalists with over 10,000 articles published throughout the world from the United States to Brazil, from South Africa to Japan, from Taiwan to the Middle East.

In 2012 MAXXI Art will be devoting exhibitions to Doris Salcedo of Columbia, one of the world’s most famous sculptors, and to Francesco Vezzoli, an artist known for his performances with leading film actresses. MAXXI Architecture will be featuring Le Corbusier in a major exhibition in the Masters of the 20th Century series while Generazione Erasmus will offer an in-depth analysis of the Italian architects at work around the world.

Zaha Hadid: “Almost half a million people have visited MAXXI in its first year. What is also very encouraging is that the local community has taken to using MAXXI as a new Roman piazza. MAXXI is no longer just a museum – it has become part of Rome’s urban fabric. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the Ministers of Cultural Heritage who have supported the project from the outset. Particular acknowledgements should go to Pio Baldi, President of the MAXXI Foundation, together with Margherita Guccione and Anna Mattirolo, for their dedication and trust. Happy birthday MAXXI!”

Pio Baldi – President of the MAXXI Foundation “A year on from the opening, the MAXXI balance sheet would appear to be very healthy: almost 500,000 visitors, 200 events and exhibitions hosted, over 3,000,000 web hits; but statistics do not make a successful museum, or rather not statistics alone given that they are an indicator rather than a goal. Success should be measured on the basis of an ability to interact within the urban, national and international context and on the achievement of the objectives indicated in the museum’s mission statement. From this point of view it can be said that MAXXI has created within the city a special social and cultural campus that is popular, active and lively, that it is reinforcing the national network of the contemporary by making the innovative idioms of creativity available to all and that lastly MAXXI has created its own network of contacts and exchanges with the world’s leading museums. The museum has achieved all this thanks to the particular support of MiBAC and all those private individuals and companies who have believed in the project.”

Margherita Guccione – Director, MAXXI Architecture “This is only MAXXI’s first birthday. And yet if we look at the success and the sequence of exhibitions and cultural activities staged by the museum of architecture over the last 12 months we have the impression that the institution has been around for much longer, thanks in part to the attention and recognition devoted to us by the network of major international museums. As the first museum of architecture in Italy we have achieved our most important objective: attracting an ever-broader and more varied public to participate in our initiatives and learn to understand a discipline as complex as architecture in all its forms.”

Anna Mattirolo, Director MAXXI Arte: “This first year at MAXXI has had the intensity of ten in terms of the increase in attention paid to the contemporary in Rome and Italy, rapidly bridging the gap that separated us from other cultural realities. We have found supporters who have believed in this project, we are nurturing young curators capable of holding their own on the international scene and with MAXXI B.A.S.E. we have created the foundation for research into the contemporary. MAXXI has been the promoter and producer of projects and we have enjoyed constant and profitable dialogue with many Italian and international museums.”

Alessandro Bianchi, General Secretary, MAXXI Foundation: “Income from ticket sales in this first year has totalled over $2,600,000, matching our expectations and bringing us very close to the level of income of the major international museums. To this we can add that attention paid to services above and beyond the exhibition activities has led to visitors spending an average of $14, a figure similar to that of the Metropolitan Museum of New York and other international institutions.”

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