10 Nov-12 Feb. Fascinating recreation of recent Milan history.
Milan’s Palazzo Morando civic gallery has opened an exhibition covering the dramatic decade 1943-1953, starting with the Allied bombardment in 1943 and covering the rapid reconstruction of the war damage.
Milano, Storia di una Rinascita hinges around 170 vintage photos, and includes videos, documents, war material and other relics and mementos.
Milan suffered a series of devastating aerial bombings in 1943. The city, say the organisers, had not been the objective of such destructive fury since the times of Barbarossa, so that by the end of the world war its face was unrecognisable and its profile changed irrevocably. La Scala, Palazzo Marino, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Castello, theatres and churches and noble palazzi were hit. Well over half the city was destroyed or irrevocably damaged. Thousands of civilians were killed, including 200 children buried in the ruins of the Crispi elementary school.
Over the next decade the city managed to return to its feet, establishing a baseline for the economic boom of the 1960s, thanks to a far-sighted cultural policy. Apart from the founding of museums, the Palazzo Reale became the site of memorable exhibits and shows to celebrate the rebirth of the city. Among the unforgettable exhibitions were that of Caravaggio in 1951, Van Gogh in 1952 and Picasso in 1953, including his iconic Guernica.
The exhibition is open until 12 February, but after the initial phase will be moved to two other locations: on 24 November to the Biblioteca Accursio in Piazza Accursio, including a special section on the QT8 neighbourhood near the Triennale, which was one of an experimental urbanisation projects of the reconstruction period, and on 27 November to the Villa Finzi park in Via S. Elembaldo, with a focus on the 1944 bombing of the Crispi elementary school.
The exhibition is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10.00 to 20.00, and Thursdays up to 22.30. The full entrance fee is €10, but there are reductions for under-26s, over-65s and other categories, including school groups.