Modern art gallery opens in Rome

The ancient monuments of Rome have a trendy new neighbor.

The National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, popularly known as the Maxxi, has finally opened after a controversial five-year delay and ballooning construction costs that eventually topped $200 million.

Award-winning Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid is responsible for the funky building design, which houses 27,000 sq/m (291,000 sq ft.) of exhibition space, offices, workshops, and lecture halls. In keeping with Rome’s legacy of fine buildings, the museum gives equal space to both art and architecture.

Current exhibitions include a survey of Italian contemporary architecture, a retrospective of the varied work of Gino De Dominicis (whose media ranged from video installations to sculpture), and a selection from Maxxi’s permanent collection.

Image courtesy MAXXI.