José Manuel Barroso at MAXXI

José Manuel Barroso at MAXXI

“We are experiencing a moment of economic difficulty, but education and culture – I repeat at every opportunity – must not be the sectors that pay for this crisis. Cultural diversity and creativity represent Europe’s principal wealth.”

The words of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, who paid a private visit to MAXXI on Sunday 13 March, on the occasion of his trip to Rome to meet the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Governor of the Bank of Italy Mario Draghi.

President Barroso spent around an hour at MAXXI, accompanied by the president of the MAXXI Foundation Pio Baldi, the director of MAXXI Art Anna Mattirolo and Luigia Lonardello, assistant curator of the exhibition Michelangelo Pistoletto. From One to Many. 1956-1974 and Cittadellarte and Stefania Vannini, head of the MAXXI Education Department.

“I didn’t think that Italy and Rome, which have the highest concentration of works of art per square metre, would have found room for the contemporary too”, said Barroso at the end of his visit, “I’m a fan of the contemporary and with this remarkable museum designed by Zaha Hadid this city and Italy are making a major contribution to the creativity of our time. I particularly enjoyed the Michelangelo Pistoletto exhibition and the works from the museum’s permanent collection.”

José Manuel Barroso makes a private visit to MAXXI. Photo by Patrizia Tocci