Claudio Cerasi opened Palazzo Merulana in Rome almost two years ago.
Palazzo Merulana, one of Rome's newest and most impressive art museums, has bid farewell to its founder Claudio Cerasi who died last night, 19 April.
Announcing the news on its Facebook page, the museum paid tribute to Cerasi as a "modern, kind, generous and determined soul" who realised his dream of offering Rome an "innovative, open and inclusive place."
Cerasi died almost two years after he opened the new art museum at the city's long-abandoned health offices on Via Merulana, following a €5 million restoration project.
In addition to funding the three-year renovation of the city-owned building, the entrepreneur filled Palazzo Merulana with the important collection of early 20th-century art that he had assembled privately with his wife, Elena.
Under an 88-year lease, the public-private venture entrusted the management of the museum to Coopculture, Italy's largest cooperative in the heritage and cultural activities sector.
Cerasi spared no expense in refurbishing the four-storey palazzo, sections of which had been lying in disrepair for 60 years.
The Cerasi collection comprises 90 works by Italian artists including Balla, Cambellotti, Casorati, de Chirico, Donghi, Mafai, Pirandello, Schifano and Severini.
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Rome: Palazzo Merulana art museum founder dies
Via Merulana, 121, 00185 Roma RM, Italy