The challenge to put the Academy of Brera at the centre of Milan’s cultural life, was the theme of an event organised by the Italian Embassy in Tokyo, featuring a presentation on the museum’s new set-up by its newly appointed British-Canadian director, James M. Bradburne. The Brera Picture Gallery and the National Library [Pinacoteca and Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense] symbolise the transformation process that the city has been undergoing in the past years. “Following the Expo, Milan has undergone a major change in terms of growth and dynamism; the thrust that followed the 2014 reforms enabled us to be part of this transformation. And Brera is only one of the facets of Milan’s metamorphosis,” explained the British-Canadian architect, designer and museologist. “At Brera we have fabulous permanent collections and this is why we decided not to do exhibits but, rather, to organise dialogues, redesigning all of the 38 halls, using innovative captioning, new lighting, updated programmes and a new spirit. Trying to place the museum at the centre of our cultural life is a real challenge. The protection of our masterpieces is paramount, but the valorization of these works of art is like a Copernican revolution, placing the visitor at the centre of the experience,” added the director.
British pianist Clive Britton performed at the event playing two pieces from F. Liszt’s suite “Second and Third Year of Pilgrimage”. Mr Britton donated to the Embassy a copy of the letter written by the Hungarian pianist to the publisher Ricordi, a company which, along with Japan’s Panasonic, support the Brera museum complex.
“This is an initiative which celebrates Italian art and, at the same time, enhances the international character of Milan and its alliance with a large enterprise as Panasonic which, besides being one of Brera’s sponsors, is accomplishing major artistic and urban valorisation works in the city,” said the Italian Ambassador, Giorgio Starace. “Evidence of the fact that Milan is a pole of attraction is that Japanese companies, art and culture are all in motion,” the diplomat added. Mr Starace highlighted Bradburne’s appointment as head of the Brera complex in 2015: “The fact that Brera has such a famous foreign director should be a point of pride for us Italians, as it proves that Italy is a modern country and Milan is an international city open to the rest of the world.”