President Benedetto Camerana: “I would like to dedicate this success to Mariella Mengozzi, who passes her brilliant and vital baton on to Lorenza Bravetta, to whom I give my best wishes for the continuation of the recent growth and the revamp of the new multicultural strategy, which foreshadows a very hard work.”
The passion for the history of the automobile and of its most famous museum has captured Turin and its inhabitants, and also thousands of tourists and fans from all corners of Italy and abroad, who could watch, for over one week, live, outdoors in outstanding places of the city, unique and iconic types of cars, vintage photographs and unpublished archive documents, attend conventions, debates, workshops and listen to tales and opinions on subjects related to cars and mobility straight from experts and past and present protagonists. Everything was possible thanks to the “dialogue” established with local institutions and bodies that welcomed the project and contributed to enhance and expand the event hosted in the automobile capital.
The celebrations for the 90th birthday of MAUTO, which have just concluded, were a great success as shown by numbers: over 30 events organized by the 25 participating entities, 30 guided tours to the museum collection, the temporary exhibition and the Open Garage, which totaled approximately 10,000 visitors from Saturday 15th till Sunday 23rd of July (the average number of participants in the same period of previous years was about 5,900), 52 speakers who intervened in the series of meetings that were held all over the town and on July 19, which recorded 1069 participants including accesses to the museum, attendance at thematic conferences and the night concert. Also the official social channels showed a sharp growth, with about 1 million total users including those reached by the posts, those who interacted with their comments and impressions, those who visited the webpages and consulted the event schedules, and the new followers (+15%).
Then, the protagonists: 82 vintage cars, of which 9 were displayed in iconic places of the city, the Fiat 508 Balilla on the Lingotto test track, 26 in the rally in San Carlo square and 46 during the “Raduno di Stile” organized by the IAAD. Models were a lot and each one had unique peculiarities, like the oldest car, the 1898 Benz Motor Velocipede, which was on display at Palazzo Birago, the premises of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin, one of the first units that became part of the MAUTO collection and one of the earliest cars to be mass produced by the famous German car manufacturer. Or the only existing specimen in the world, the 1907 Itala 35/45 HP “Palombella”, which was exhibited in the Royal Gardens: the rarest and most regal car, made for Queen Margherita, belonged to the Royal Garage and was one of the city department cars used by the royal family for parades and in representation events. Or the fastest car, the 1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, exhibited in the Grand Gallery of the Royal Palace of Venaria: a streamlined and sportive design body made with superlight technique by Touring, powered by a high-performance engine with a capacity exceeding 3000 cc and 250 HP power. Finally, the most visionary model, the Phoenix II Solare, which was shown at the OGR, a zero emission electric prototype with solar recovery, built by engineer Andrea Pesaresi in 1987; its name comes from the mythological animal that regenerates from its ashes, because, a few days after its debut in the Grand Prix 4E, it experienced an accident that seriously damaged its chassis; after the initial consternation, the car was repaired and enhanced, and became the Phoenix II.
Among the news and surprises that dotted the celebration week, one has a special meaning: President Camerana announced the appointment of the new Director of MAUTO during the opening event on July 19, the same day of the establishment of the museum 90 years ago: Lorenza Bravetta will guide it in the three years to come. With a degree in Cultural Heritage from the Turin University, she collaborated as a strategical advisor in the photography field with several institutions, including Triennale Milano, where she has been the curator for photography, cinema and new media since 2020. Since January 2017 till the end of the parliament term, she was the advisor of the Minister for Culture for the enhancement of the national photographic heritage. She conceived and directed CAMERA-Centro Italiano per la Fotografia until September 2016. She was the Director of Magnum Photos in Paris with powers for continental Europe from 2011 till 2014. A teacher at the IED in Turin and NABA in Milan, she was the Vice President of the Museum of contemporary photography in Cinisello Balsamo from 2016 till May 2022.
“The celebrations for the 90th birthday of MAUTO close with an extraordinary success, because of the active and shared response from the public – both real and virtual – and above all of the Turin-based cultural and non-cultural institutions, as many as 25 museums and organizations that contributed ideas, projects, participation in meetings and conferences, which demonstrated the cultural value of the automobile, which crosses several disciplines and languages. Their participation widened the success of the celebrations, underlining the potential of the Turin operating network. And we should not forget our foray into the “non-place” of Roarington Meta, which, anyway, has an international base. I would like to dedicate this success to Mariella Mengozzi, who passed her brilliant and vital baton on to Lorenza Bravetta, to whom I give my wishes for the continuation of the recent growth and revival in the new multicultural strategy that foreshadows a very hard work. Finally, the MAUTO, after celebrating its past history, is working on the next great exhibition project on the future of mobility: More To Come!”.
Benedetto Camerana, President of the MAUTO – National Automobile Museum
“I feel honored to undertake the direction of the National Automobile Museum. We will work together with the President, the Board of Directors and the entire team with the aim of consolidating the outstanding results achieved in these years and further strengthening the role played by the Museum on the local, Italian and international level. We will interface ourselves with other institutions and the citizens in order to take the culture of automobile out of the Museum, in a contamination with other sectors, other disciplines and other forms of artistic expression.”
Lorenza Bravetta, Director of the MAUTO – National Automobile Museum
After this event and after duly thanking all the institutional bodies that have contributed to its success, the National Automobile Museum and the city of Turin will have the necessary time to organize another important event, the 100th anniversary of MAUTO, to be celebrated in an even more magnificent and extraordinary fashion.