Museum of Poop Opens in Italy

museo-della-merda-italy
Exhibits at the Museo Della Merda, Italy Photo: Museo Della Merda

The latest museum to open in Italy is full of shit—literally. The Local reports that the Museo della Merda, located in the village of Castelbosco, about 70 kilometers south of Milan, is dedicated to the history of human and animal waste.

Despite coming across as an April fools joke, the institution insists that there’s more to the museum than toilet humor. Describing itself as an “agency for change” the museum includes exhibits documenting “information on excrement in culture, technology, and history.” (See The World’s 19 Creepiest Museums.)

According to UPIthe museum seeks to alter the common perception of feces as waste in order to demonstrate “what a useful and living substance shit really is.” The museum’s website states that “few phenomena are so rich in material and conceptual complexity as the cultural history of [excrement].”

The project is the brainchild of local farmer Gianantonio Locatelli, whose farm animals produce an estimated 220,000 pounds of dung every day. The majority of the droppings are repurposed as fertilizers.

The museum held an event at Milan’s Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology on Monday to announce its inaugural exhibition, which traces the history of poop as a resource and details the ways in which the substance has been utilized for projects ranging from ecology and recycling to construction.

Artists have long discovered the benefits of using feces as material (see Chris Ofili’s Glittering, Dung-Encrusted Paintings Return to New York), and exhibitions dedicated to the digestive system have been mounted before, but this is first museum dedicated entirely to crap.

The Museuo della Merda can be visited on weekends from May through August, by appointment only.


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