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Prada did not ask about prices, and

Koolhaas decided to introduce a little light

to the complex, so they hired artists to ap-

ply gold colour to the forgotten renaissance

tech by covering the surface with gold leaf

to smarten up the former factory tower.

Purportedly, some 200,000 leaves of pure

gold were used to decorate the tower.

They used gold “in order to exalt some-

thing so modest,” explains Miuccia Prada,

who expects the gold to eventually gain a

patina layer like antique sculptures.

The large complex of the Prada Founda-

tion in Milan consists of several old factory

assembly halls and buildings, as well as a

few newly constructed buildings. “We con-

sciously juxtaposed the new and old,” says


The low cinema building with its gleam-

ing façade is new: for the opening ceremony

Roman Polanski made the documentary film

“My Inspiration”. In front of the theatre, in

the middle of the complex, a new gallery

was built completely of glass, which reflects

the gold of the ‘Haunted house’. This also

houses the children’s area with toys, while a

large library is also set to open. The entire

complex has been gifted by Prada to fellow

citizens and it works every day until nine in

the evening.

The golden tower, with its narrow

staircase like those in old church towers,

is entered only at designated times – by

just a few people at once with special

cards – who then silently view works of

only two contemporary artists. Prada ‘sired’

American sculptor Robert Gober and great

French-American artist Louise Bourgeois,

who is attributed with establishing “confes-

sional art”. On display is her work “The

Cell/Clothes” (1996): with a series of doors

she constructed a room-wardrobe which

can only be peeked at through openings

and glass on the doors. In it she placed her

clothes – strongly emotionally charged, for

a woman who is the most impressive wit-

ness of the times that hurt her; on the back

of a white coat is embroidered the sentence

“The cold of anxiety is very real”.

In several other exhibition spaces we

come across many famous works of contem-

porary Italian and international artists that

have been bought with devotion by Prada for

years, as she personally visited studios. This

gallery complex will likely one day grow into

a serious contemporary art museum in Milan.

The central gallery houses the most

important exhibition that opened the Foun-

dation: ancient sculptures borrowed from

the world’s most important museums, the

Louvre, the Vatican, Getty, the Uffizi, from

the Roman and Neapolitan museums of

antiquity. The way the statues are exhibited

has been concocted masterfully by Kool-

haas, setting them on a short stand of dark

travertine and glass.

The central exhibition, Serial Classic,

offers a radical new approach to ancient

art, showing that the value of artwork back

then was not predicated on the notion of an

original idea, but rather the craftsmanship of

repeating motifs from Greek sculpture.

According to exhibition curator Salva-

tore Settis, the exhibition starts from what is

missing, and those are the Greek originals

preserved only in fragments. Discobolus, the

discus thrower of perfect proportions, taut

muscles, a body of subtle clean energy, is

one of the most important Greek sculptures.

The bronze Discobolus was not preserved,

meaning we know it only through Roman

reproductions. From the ancient sculptures

U delu koji se zove

Uvod, veličanstveni

izrezbareni drveni

kabinet iz 15. veka

služi gotovo samo

kao pozadina

za radove Kurta

Švitersa i Džozefa



In part

that is called the

Introduction, a

magnificent 15th-

century carved

wooden cabinet

serves almost

exclusively as a

backdrop for works

by Kurt Schwitters

and Joseph Cornell

U staroj cisterni izložen je

samo jedan rad Dejmijena

Hersta, „Izgubljena ljubav“

(1999): akvarijum s tropskim

ribama i potopljenom

ginekološkom stolicom,

bisernom ogrlicom, cipelama i

torbicom. Refleksija o gubitku,

tuzi, težini života?


In the

old tank is displayed only one

work by Damien Hirst, “Lost

Love” (1999): an aquarium

with tropical fish and a sunken

gynecologist‘s chair, pearl

necklace, shoes and handbag.

Reflections on loss, grief, the

weight of life?