A New Anti-Mafia Museum in Italy Will Immerse Visitors in Sights, Sounds, and Smells
The museum's home is an 18th-century neo-classical palace.
May 23, 2023 marks 31 years since tensions between Sicily’s Cosa Nostra mafia and the Italian government reached an explosive turning point. The date will now also mark the opening of a new anti-mafia museum in Palermo, Italy, dedicated to Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two anti-crime leaders who were murdered within 57 days of each other by the Sicilian mafia.
The publicly and privately funded museum will open in Palermo’s 18th-century neoclassical Palazzo Jung palace, sources report. Joining an existing No Mafia Memorial and museum, the new institution will offer archival documents, film, and photos on loan from major Italian museums, as well as immersive experiences featuring scent and sound. Two further locations in Rome and Bolzano are also being planned.
The project is spearheaded by Fondazione Falcone, established by Maria Falcone, sister to Giovanni. The late Falcone died on May 23, 1992 in an explosion detonated by mobsters in a last ditch effort to thwart plans for an Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate (DIA) and a National Anti-Mafia Directorate (DNA). Both Falcone and Borsellino were in the running to head the DNA as its “Super Prosecutor.” Both died by bombings—Falcone first, from a 1,100-pound blast so powerful it registered with earthquake monitors on the other side of Sicily.
Maria Falcone emphasized in a statement that the foundation’s latest endeavor “will not simply be a museum of memory but also a dynamic place where people can meet,” calling it “a special cultural space that unites institutions, led by the State Police and the Carabinieri, private individuals, and other partner museums.”
The museum follows the foundation’s other anti-mafia initiatives in Palermo. In 2022, its Spazi Capaci project recruited artists including Andrea Buglisi, Peter Demetz, and Velasco Vitali to stage public art interventions across the city. “We’ve always known that culture is one of the best weapons against the mafia,” said Falcone at that time.
Of the museum, Palermo mayor Roberto Lagalla added that “students and young people will be active protagonists of what we hope will become an interactive, narrative, and itinerant museum which, in addition to bringing our history to other Italian cities, proposes itself as a place of hospitality and reflection for tourists, the world of work, businesses and citizens.”
More Trending Stories:
The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s Director Has Resigned After Less Than Two Years, Citing ‘Resistance and Backlash’
‘We’re Not All Ikea-Loving Minimalists’: Historian and Author Michael Diaz-Griffith on the Resurgence of Young Antique Collectors
The First Auction of Late Billionaire Heidi Horten’s Controversial Jewelry Proves Wildly Successful, Raking in $156 Million
An Airbnb Host Got More Than They Bargained for with a Guest’s Offbeat Art Swap—and the Mystery Has Gone Viral on TikTok
Not Patriarchal Art History, But Art ‘Herstory’: Judy Chicago on Why She Devoted Her New Show to 80 Women Artists Who Inspired Her
An Artist Asked ChatGPT How to Make a Popular Memecoin. The Result Is ‘TurboToad,’ and People Are Betting Millions of Dollars on It
An Elderly Man Spray-Painted a Miriam Cahn Painting at a Paris Museum After Right-Wing Attempts to Censor It Failed
The Netflix Series ‘Transatlantic’ Dramatizes the Effort to Evacuate Artists From France During World War II. Here’s What Actually Happened in Real Life
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.