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A Museum for the Mediterranean at Cagliari
1. The Museum
The region of Sardinia intends to promote the building of a "Mediterranean Museum of Nuragic and Contemporary Art", to be sited at the port of Cagliari. The new museum will be to house Nuragic findings together with works of contemporary art and encourage critical and interpretative comparison between the two spheres. As well as underlining the value of an important aspect of the history and identity of Sardinia - that linked to its Nuragic legacy - the museum, based on this legacy, aims to promote the island within the contemporary art scene, offering it as a reference point for artistic work in the Mediterranean area.The aim of this comparison between Nuragic and contemporary art is also to underline the inextricable and historical link between Sardinia�s island and Mediterranean identity. In this setting, the Nuragic findings, restored to the horizon of aesthetic experience, should function as a symbolic nucleus, elements able to create a short circuit between past and present. The future Museum arises therefore from an unconventional idea of exposition. It does not intend to create a straightforward archaeological museum but rather a building destined to house, inside a container with a strong architectural identity, a permanent collection dedicated to Nuragic art alongside exhibitions - and successively a collection - of contemporary art, concentrating in particular on work carried out in countries that face on to the Mediterranean.The initial nucleus of the collection will be a group of large eighth century statues from Monti Parma, at Cabras (Oristano), currently under restoration. More in general, the architecture of the new Mediterranean Museum of Nuragic and Contemporary Art should take inspiration in an original way from a twofold tension in the geopolitical identity of Sardinia, that between the antique and contemporary and that between the island dimension and Mediterranean dimension.

2. Five Challenges
The new museum, that represents a new and original solution both in terms of programme and spatial characteristics, should address the following challenges:
1. The Museum should function as a reference point for other places in Sardinia and the Mediterranean famous for Nuragic art, first and foremost the Archaeological Museum at Cagliari. Participants should therefore carefully consider the presence in the Museum of galleries and spaces destined to inform the visitor of the whereabouts of Nuragic settlements in Sardinia (one of the main aims of the new museum will be that of encouraging the visitor to discover other museums and centres for artistic research present in the region) and the Mediterranean basin. In the same way, the public will be immersed in a network of geographical references relative to institutions and places dedicated to the production - in Sardinia and the Mediterranean - of contemporary art.
2. The new museum should house a workshop for comparison and experimentation that brings together Nuragic and contemporary objects and works of art in unusual ways.This comparison will constitute the very essence of the museum's exhibition and research programme.The building should contain spaces - exhibition areas, multimedia areas, workshops - to hold works of very different sizes (such as, in the archaeological sphere, bronzes or large Nuragic statues); spaces to house for example multimedia installations of visual art alongside Nuragic statues; spaces able to help the public appreciate the relationship between the serial and the individual dimension of the works on show.
3. The museum should offer a varied exhibition route that creates aesthetic tension and interaction between the works with their historic context. Participants should propose cognitive-perceptive ways of interpreting and passing through the spaces of the museum that enable exhibition routes to be articulated on different levels and at different speeds, considering both a rapid and brief vision as well as a deeper and more analytical one with the infinite individual combinations that each visitor can create between these two extremes. The museum should be a container open to different kinds of public with each visitor the conscious creator of their own spatial and temporal route through the sequence of spaces.
4. The museum should be set up as a place for production, research and experimentation regarding relationships between Nuragic and contemporary art. With this in mind, participants should provide spaces where invited curators and artists can discuss their proposals confronting specialists from other disciplines and encountering students and researchers or can show their ideas to a broader and in some cases more distant public. Participants should also think about the presence of workshops and ateliers for carrying out restoration of Nuragic art and producing contemporary works of art.
5. Finally, the new museum should represent an engine for urban regeneration for the city of Cagliari.The presence inside and around the museum of reception and entertainment spaces for visitors and tourists as well as those living in the city can help the museum establish itself as a gateway providing access and visibility for the island. Participants should therefore pay particular attention to the access to the museum and the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces.The sequence of public spaces (entrance hall, bookshop, media centre, bar, restaurant, conference hall, commercial areas...) should be designed in such a way as to be coherent with the spatial, cultural and economic context that surrounds the new building.

The scientific committee
in collaboration with Politecnico Milano and Domus
© 2021 Regione Autonoma della Sardegna