I know that I have given the Centrale Montemartini Museum in Rome a little puff on this blog before. And indeed I try to give it puff whenever I can. But as I have spent most of my waking hours this weekend taking people round it (thanks to all groups!), I thought it probably deserved its own blog post, to itself.
The museum was founded in the late 1990's, when the Capitoline Museums were undergoing a major refit in preparation for the 2000 Jubilee. So some key works from the centre-city Museums were moved to a disused power station, down the Via Ostiense (go to Pyramide metro station and take a short bus ride, is the cheapest way to get there). It was an instant hit, partly because of the stunning juxtaposition of the machienery and the (largely) white marble sculpture. In a way it was the flavour of the moment of end of century museology (think Tate Modern and Musée D'Orsay), but this was a much braver version, because unlike the others they actually left a lot of the industrial machinery intact (it wasnt just using a power station as a shell).
The result is stunning as most people this weeked (not absolutely all, but most!) agreed. So when the main Capitoline Museums reopened, they kept Montemartini open too.
That's where the story gets a bit sadder.