MUDEC - Museum of Cultures is an interdisciplinary centre opened in 2015 to host and present the civic ethnographic collections to the public in the new building designed by English architect David Chipperfield within the former industrial Ansaldo Area, located in Tortona District.
MUDEC reinterprets the spaces that it fits into with square-shaped forms coated with zinc and with a glass structure – illuminated 24/7 – that geometrically breaks the building that hosts it. The key feature of the new space is the Agorà, a covered courtyard dominated by a cloud-shaped vault: a meeting place between cultures and communities.
An area of over 17.000 sqm hosts the ethno-anthropologic heritage of the City of Milano, a collection of over 7000 objects – works of art, daily objects, fabrics and musical instruments from all over the world. The collection is mainly composed by objects from the Far East, Africa and pre-Columbian Americas, from ancient times to XIX century.
In 2020 the permanent exhibition is renewed through the analysis of the effects – for Milano and as seen from Milano – of the advent of an interconnected world, from the Early Modern Age to this day.
Reflecting on role and responsibilities of ethnographic museums in the contemporary debate, the new exhibition path of the Permanent Collection “Global Milano. The World Seen from Here” proposes a story arranged in different core themes, in which the individual histories are interwoven with major global historical processes.
Through a selection of objects from our and other institutions’ collections, visitors become acquainted with such complex concepts as globalization, imperialism and mercantilism and the interactive and immersive installations throughout the exhibition allow visitors to analyze independently the themes proposed.
In addition to the Permanent Collection, the MUDEC offers visitors a variety of cultural activities and services: temporary exhibitions, a conference auditorium with 300 seats, Mudec Bistrot, Mudec Design Store, Mudec Club restaurant, plus lecture rooms, the Mudec Junior area and parking spaces.
The room dedicated to Manfredo Settala Collection hosts a feather mosaic realized in Mexico in the XVII century: the featherwork is a portrait of Pope Alessandro VII Chigi and it is one of the rarest surviving examples of Mexican “amantecas”.