James M. Bradburne, Museum Director of the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense talked to Where®Milan about the city’s new cultural revolution.
What can you tell us about the ‘Grande Brera’ project?
The idea of a ‘Grande Brera’ was born with Franco Russoli, who used it to express his vision of Brera at the centre of the entire neighbourhood. Russoli’s ‘Grande Brera’ began with San Carpofilo and ended at the Poldi Pezzoli. The expression was later hijacked to describe a megalomaniac project to banish the Accademia from the Palazzo di Brera in order to create new spaces for the other institutions.
What is the strong point of the exhibition at the Pinacoteca and which works should not be missed?
james_bradburneThe strong point derives from Napoleon’s ambition to make Brera ‘the Louvre of Italy’. This means we have a very large selection of masterpieces from throughout northern Italy, including Mantegna, Bellini, Veronese, Tintoretto, Crivelli, Piero della Francesca, Bramante, Raphael and of course, Caravaggio.
What services does your museum offer international visitors?
The new labelling is already bilingual, and we have tours in several European languages. There are activities for families and children and special ‘percorsi’ for the visually impaired. The staff is friendly and trained in English. The new installations are all being prepared at an international standard.
What struck you most on your arrival in Milan?
Milan is a real city – dynamic, complex and exciting. I was immediately struck by the sense of city pride, and the willingness of the Milanese to support initiatives that serve the city.
What are the next projects in the pipeline?
The most important projects are to enhance the experience of the Palazzo by re-designing the entrance to the Observatory and the Orto Botanico at via Fiori Oscuri 4, and opening a shop in the courtyard that represents all seven institutions, with a space where the young artists of the Accademia can sell their works. The Pinacoteca will reinstall all 38 rooms of its permanent collection, and open an elegant caffè on the loggiato. In 2018, the Palazzo Citterio will open with the Pinacoteca’s extraordinary collections of Italian Modern art – the Jesi collection, the Vitali collection and, for at least two years, the Mattioli collection.
Can you give us 3 reasons why you would recommend a visit to Milan (and naturally Brera)?
Milan is a real city, the country’s capital of design and fashion and the city has some of Italy’s greatest cultural treasures (the Cenacolo, Brera, Castello, Poldi Pezzoli).
Via Brera, 28
M2 (green line) Lanza

External Links: www.pinacotecabrera.org