Trento’s Science Museum, MUSE, all started with the Universal Deluge. In 2000, the museum dedicated an exhibition to the great flood; at the time, it was still known as “Museo tridentino di scienze naturali” and was located in the old Palazzo Sardegna, in Via Calepina. That exhibit was the undeniable and final proof that the museum’s concept had radically changed, and that experimentation and interaction were meant to become the hard core of its new beginning.
The constant addition of new material, thanks to the contributions of experts and citizens, made the MUSE’s development unstoppable between 2002 and 2005. In 2006, the design of a new building in the “Le Albere” quarter was entrusted to Renzo Piano.
The MUSE opened in its new location on July 27, 2013. Renzo Piano created a structure made of broken lines and interlocking planes that by contrast fits in with the surrounding old rural buildings, in a post-industrial area that was extremely degraded just a few years ago.
Change, as always, sparked a few controversies. Some even suggested that the new building, instead of becoming a strong and active scientific hub, might turn into the barren symbol of a sterile good intention – an impossible plan to redevelop the urban and economic value of an abandoned part of the city of Trento.
Only time will tell. But for now, the deluge seems to be over.