Ten closed shops become Museums in Chianciano Terme

The project has been undertaken by Roberto Gagliardi: a permanent “Expo” dedicated to art in the centre of Chianciano Terme.


Chianciano (Siena), August 2, 2016 – the day the revolution begins from Art. Chianciano will have its own permanent Expo and above all, a renovated historical centre with many new spaces dedicated to culture. It was originally Roberto Gagliardi’s idea - a gallerist who lives in London but has a special bond with the Italian spa town. In 2009 he even founded the Contemporary Art Museum of Chianciano. Gagliardi could have opened it in Egypt, however he decided to transform a historic local hotel in a cradle of artistic languages instead. And so, the green Tuscan hills beat the Pharaohs. The innovative renovations will take place in the old town, where the founder of the London-based Gagliardi Gallery decided to buy ten shops, now closed and empty, all located in Piazza Matteotti. They will be restructured and "filled with history", for a cultural journey that goes from the past to the present. The opening of Expo Chianciano is on the 13th August.
Among the various attractions, one can admire the photographic exhibition by Lonnie Schlein, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002; a grotto dedicated to the Medici dynasty that had important ties with Chianciano; new technology with three-dimensional projections and also a large section dedicated to fashion with original drawings by Giorgio Armani and vintage creations by famous designers.
This and plenty more awaits visitors, with the hope that such a project can also help to increase the country’s tourism. Not only this, but there will also be an option to arrive by helicopter from Florence and Rome. Certainly, this a new starting point that could provide interesting opportunities for the future of this historic spa town, full of untapped potential due to the beauty of its streets and panoramic views. And who knows if the birth of this Expo will help over the coming years to create employment for the many young people who are trying their luck elsewhere, either directly or incidentally.
"For days and days I thought about it, and I finally decided to do something for the town of Chianciano and its inhabitants. Why keep the most important square of the old town completely empty? Thus was born the idea to buy and renovate the ten shops and create the Expo Chianciano ". Roberto Gagliardi explains how his dream of bringing art within the ancient walls of Chianciano came to life. A kind gesture towards the spa town, albeit a big investment. In a difficult economic situation, it is rare to find a person who devotes resources, energy and passion to give impetus to a place that is trying to rejuvenate itself.
"The exhibitions will be permanent - continues Mr. Gagliardi - so the old town can restart again. And I wanted to push people, hoping that someone will follow me. This is an act of love, it would be great if young people can come back and work here, maybe opening a business. Of course, it will take time, perhaps years. Chianciano has reacted well, we have seen satisfaction and collaboration between all parties and we hope that this project can be a driving force for the creation of new private business."
The Expo will be inaugurated on Saturday, August 13 at 5.30pm, with free admission. Evening openings are also planned on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while some exhibitions will also take place in the Art Museum.
By Luca Stefanucci
Courtesy of la Nazione, Italy