The article examines the contradictory features of art localization and accessibility in the metropolitan area of Milan, Italy. Economic growth often generates and sharpens new inequalities whose most evident symptom in cities is the increasing distance between the central areas and the suburban patchwork. Commuting workers prevail in the center, and residents crowd the suburbs. Nevertheless, works of art and cultural actions are concentrated in the center, widening the gap between social groups. Paradoxically, many works of art from museums endowments and private collections are locked in deposits and are therefore inaccessible even in the central areas. Thus, the cultural, commercial, and social maps of Milan prove contradictory and inconsistent. The study aims to understand the relationship between the contemporary art collections and the dynamics of urban life in Milan. The theoretical framework has its starting point in the tensions between conservation and enjoyment of artistic heritage and their legal implications, on which basis a database of contemporary art collections in Milan has been developed and translated into maps and eventually compared with the cultural urban fabric of the city. The analysis highlights the inconsistency of the maps that reflect a social loss, being the life of residents and the local economy detached from the contemporary art offer. The article explores the features of this dilemma, proposes a possible strategic outcome, and suggests guidelines for municipal action aimed at supporting its material realization and facilitating a more equilibrated presence of works of art, projects, and actions within the metropolitan framework.

Art Collections, Cultural Economics, Urban Economics
dx.doi.org/10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/V13I04/15-37, hdl.handle.net/1765/132533
International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
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Erasmus University Rotterdam

Bollati, I. (Ilaria), Morea, V. (Valeria), Antonucci, F. (Federica), & Trimarchi, M. (Michele). (2020). Invisible art: Redrawing the map of contemporary art in Milan. International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, 13(4), 15–37. doi:10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/V13I04/15-37