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For more than 20 years, the Prada Foundation has been staging contemporary art exhibitions in abandoned warehouses and disused churches at Milan, bringing contemporary artists like Anish Kapoor and Michael Heizer to Italian audiences, often for the first time. The foundation has masterminded projects elsewhere, too, like the time the Belgian artist Carsten Holler created the Double Club, a restaurant and club in a Victorian warehouse in London, drawing patrons like Mick Jagger and Penélope Cruz. After a long waiting, you can from now on, add one more spot to “Things to do in Milan” list, visiting Prada foundation’s new headquarters…and Milan Design Agenda is glad in helping you with!
Recently, the Prada Foundation has set its sights on establishing permanent homes to present exhibitions and to show its vast holdings of art, mostly works from the 1950s to the present. Four years ago, it opened an outpost in an 18th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Now it is putting down roots on the site of an old distillery in a scruffy industrial neighborhood here.
The complex is made up of seven existing buildings recovered from a distillery dating back to 1916 and three new structures, all located in Largo Isarco, in the southern part of Milan. The project was developed by OMA, led by Prada’s longtime architect, Rem Koolhaas, have created a sprawling complex with nearly 120,000 square feet of exhibition space that, is poised to become a major international destination for the arts.
Bertelli reiterated that there is no overlap between Fondazione Prada and the Prada fashion house’s activities. “We’ve never held art exhibitions to coincide with our fashion shows, that would be unkind to the artist,” said Bertelli, to which his wife Miuccia Prada added: “And to the designer, too.”
“This is an important project for both Milan and the whole country. It’s a gift to Italy. In our country for many years, people concentrated only on the preservation of the artistic heritage and it seemed there was no space for contemporary art,” said Dario Franceschini, Italy’s minister for culture and tourism, who attended the event. “This project shows that it’s possible to keep the two things together. We have to invest in the future and in innovation, which is the direction taken by Fondazione Prada.”
Franceschini also said that thanks to projects like the new Fondazione Prada, Milan, after the universal Expo, is destined to become a point of reference in Europe in the next 10 years if it will focus on innovation, design, art and culture, adding a missing strengh in culture events to Milan City Guide and Things to do in Milan as well!
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