In anticipation of Expo 2015, Milan recently opened a new museum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. Located in the heart of the city, the new Gallerie d'Italia is important not only for its collection but also for its location: the historic buildings in which the galleries are located had long been closed to the public.
Four grand palazzos comprise the 8,300-square-metre complex between piazza Scala and via Manzoni: the neoclassical Palazzo Anguissola, the nineteenth-century Palazzo Brentani, Palazzo Canonica and the monumental Palazzo Beltrami. Together, the galleries in these buildings will display the collections of Italy's largest bank, Banca Intesa San Paolo, and the Fondazione Cariplo.
The doors of the new museum opened officially on November 3, with nearly 200 works from the 1800s and early 1900s on exhibit in Palazzo Brentani and Palazzo Anguissola, among them a bas relief by Antonio Canova and works by Futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni.
The entire museum complex will be complete in 2012, with the opening of another gallery featuring twentieth-century art. In the meantime, entrance is free. For more information, see www.gallerieditalia.com.