PRINT December 2006

Massimiliano Gioni

MILAN PROBABLY DOESN’T EVEN EXIST. Though still called Italy’s “moral capital,” the city has become slightly irrelevant, surpassed by Turin and Rome as a center of cultural participation and production. Or, more accurately, Milan has turned itself into an expensive luxury item, an accessory powerful in its beauty yet strangely unnecessary, even unreal. Little by little, Milan could easily come to resemble one of Italo Calvino’s invisible cities: Anastasia, the metropolis that awakens desire only to suffocate it.

Milan is a city of broken promises and frustrated dreams. In recent years, each new municipal administration has heralded ambitious plans for museums and cultural centers. But nothing has ever come of these proposals, and Milan remains one of the few large cities in Western Europe without a contemporary art museum. Private investors have therefore taken on the role of public

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