The battle between modernity and heritage: Milan’s struggle for preservation

Published: 20 December 2023

In the heart of Milan, near the Istria and Marche metro stations, stands the Maggiolina district, celebrated for its distinctive architectural creations. However, recent attention has been drawn to the demolition of one of these intriguing structures between via Arbe and via Tullio Morgagni, making way for a modern construction project. Beyond aesthetic considerations, this building held a piece of urban history.

Vittorio Sgarbi’s Protest

The demolition stirred significant controversy, notably due to the unusual intervention of art critic Vittorio Sgarbi. He stated, “Milan is under attack. After the demolition of a building in Porta Romana, the demolition of a neo-medieval villa in the Maggiolina district is now well underway. The Municipal Landscape Commission has approved a project that we could essentially define as criminal.”

Protests and Future Challenges

Despite protests and expressed concerns, bulldozers continued, leaving only remnants of the original building that once housed the renowned “Tre Pini” restaurant. Sgarbi attempted to involve the Supervision Authority, but the response was disappointing, as the building wasn’t even in a protected landscape area. This raises crucial questions about safeguarding Milan’s rich historical heritage.

Loss of Historical Heritage

This year, the administration authorized the demolition of three villas from the early 20th century. Alongside the Maggiolina building, a liberty-style structure near piazza Trento and a historic residence in via Comelico were razed. The latter was replaced by an imposing seven-story building.

These events prompt reflection on the compromise between modernity and the preservation of Milan’s historical neighborhoods. If you’re interested in living in a historic district like Milan’s Maggiolina, explore our offerings.

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