Museum

Museo d'arte moderna e contemporanea "Aurelio De Felice" - CAOS (CENTRO ARTI OPIFICIO SIRI)

Viale Campofregoso, 98, Terni
CAOS Modern and Contemporary Art Museum “Aurelio de Felice” The Museo D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea “Aurelio De Felice” – CAOS, Centro Arti Opificio SIRI premises were restructured by Terni Municipality to house art collections and exhibitions in the reused space of the former SIRI factory. The first industrial settling in the area was an old Papal Ironwork factory—the Ferriera Pontificia—built in 1793 as per the Apostolic Chamber disposition. At the time of the process of the unification of Italy—1860s—this plant was still the largest factory in Umbria, with an extension of 12.000 square meters and a labor force of about 200. Closed down in 1905, its premises, consisting of several edifices—warehouses, offices, mineral depots and the housing of the personnel—were reused for metalwork and chemical manufacturing production destined prevalently for the armament industry in 1919. In 1925, with the guiding ideas of Luigi Casale, and after a series of changes and corporate acquisitions—like IDROS and SISAS, acronym for Società Italiana per l’Ammoniaca Sintetica—the enterprise was transformed into the current SIRI, acronym for Società Italiana Ricerche Industriali. The main activity of this enterprise was the production of synthetic ammonia and other chemical products. Starting in the 1930s, SIRI concentrated primarily on research, abandoning large production. The activity carried on without interruption until the 1970s, with a progressive slowing down of production until its definitive closure in 1983. These works of art, dating from the 15th to the 19th century, are hosted in the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is set up with innovative criteria. They had already been exhibited in the Municipal Gallery “Omeore Metelli”, housed in Palazzo Gazzoli. Among these, the ones of the Italian Renaissance Masters like Piermateo d’Amelia and Benozzo Gozzoli or of local artists like Niccolò Alunno, Giovanni di Pietro, known as Lo Spagna, and Pompeo Cocchi come to the fore. Collections of works such as the Naive paintings of Orneore Metelli or the sculptures of Aurelio De Felice also have their space in the museum. Visitors can also profit from the presence of graphic works of artists like Chagall, Mirò, Leger and Kandinsky. Much space is dedicated to contemporary works of art of artists such as Turcato, Mastroianni, Pomodoro, Severini, Montanarini, Minucchi, Passalacqua, Chung Eun Mo and others. The property of the entire area was taken over in tranches from 1997 to 2002 by the Municipality of Terni. Together with the preservation of the access alley and central court, the whole pre-existing complex was recovered and reused for Cultural and Recreational Services, while the entire first floor returned to being living quarters.

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