In the face of the institution’s growing budget deficit, Rome’s MAXXI National Museum of 21st-century Art is in danger of imminent closure by the Italian government. Famously designed by Zaha Hadid at a cost of $192 million, the museum was a decade in the making and opened just two years ago. As of Monday, government officials had 20 days to decide MAXXI’s fate.
Due to national austerity measures following a debt crisis currently effecting much of southern Europe, the government cut MAXXI’s funding by 43% in 2011. Museum administrators report that the profits from the year prior should cover the resulting loss, which amounted to over a million dollars. The government’s culture and heritage minister, Lorenzo Oranghi, countered by predicting a projected $14 million deficit for the museum over the next three years.
Due to the substantially smaller government subsidies, the museum’s board must attract additional private funding in order to make ends meet. Failure to adequately do so has prevented MAXXI from approving its 2012 budget, which had led to intervention from the state.
The government will decide in the coming weeks whether or not to place MAXXI under special administration, which will in effect shut down the institution. Currently, the museum has eight different exhibitions on view, with a ninth, “Paola De Pietri: To Face,” to open next month.