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Report: Alfa Romeo to close historic museum

by Andrew Ganz

In a bid to cut its costs, Alfa Romeo could close its historic museum in Italy.

Among car aficionados, the Alfa Romeo museum adjacent to the automaker's storied race track in suburban Milan, Italy, is noted to be one of the world's best. Unlike brand-centric museums in Germany or even the United States, the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo is worth visiting solely for its collection of some of the world's most valuable and historic racing and road cars, all of which bear the automaker's signature cross and serpent badge.

Yet new reports from Europe suggest that the museum, which is currently closed for renovations, might not reopen after all.

The museum, located in Arese, Italy, about 20 minutes from central Milan, was closed in February to be renovated. Alfa Romeo owner Fiat's cost-cutting moves dictated that the museum needed to sell off some of its collection in order to pay for the renovations. Models like the 1951 Alfetta driven to victory by Juan Miguel Fangio are said to be up for grabs for collectors willing to offer top dollar.

Despite the renovation efforts, however, the automaker could have to shutter the facility for good. Although it is located near the automaker's historic test track, the museum lies well away from Milan's typical tourist destinations. As a result, it saw only 24,000 visitors last year, a third of whom arrived during the brand's 100th anniversary celebration last summer (see Leftlane's coverage here).

The potential closure has incited outrage from more than just enthusiasts: Guido Podestà, president of Italy's Milano province, stated that "it would be a deadly sin to close the museum."

Combined, the museum's collection of 130 cars is worth between 50 and 60 million euros.

Alfa Romeo would hardly be the first automaker to sell off parts of its collection to finance operations; less than two years ago, General Motors sent many models from its heritage collection to a Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona to thin its ranks.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

References
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