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Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Milan to re open in 2015

Monday 9th February 2015
Southwood Car Company have previously reported in an article on 27th November 2014 entitled “Alfa Romeo – What the future Holds” of the $6.5 Billion Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were investing in relaunching the historic brand that is Alfa Romeo. We believe that the future is incredibly bright for Alfa Romeo and that this will intensify the already strong demand for the legendary classics produced by the charismatic and historic stylish marquee.

Whilst looking to the future you also have to consider the past, and for some time this has been a little difficult as in 2011 Fiat closed the Milan manufacturing plant in Arese, which also housed one of the greatest collections of production, prototype and racing Alfa Romeos, a Mecca for Alfa Romeo enthusiasts and connoisseurs.

Well we are pleased to tell you this summer; the former Alfa Romeo plant at Arese will come back to life to coincide with the Milan Expo and the marque's relaunch. With an agreement being finally reached between Fiat and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage for the reopening of the Alfa Romeo Museum. With a letter from the minister himself, Dario Franceschini, Going to the Mayor of Arese, Michela Gym, to confirm it. As a result Alfa Romeo fans can celebrate, and gone is the lost hope in visiting the collection again.
In 2011 the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage of Lombardy put the museum cars, the archive and the building itself under a court restraining order. Soon after that, Fiat closed the collection and simultaneously appealed to the Regional Administrative Court of Law against this decision. It was the start of a long legal controversy, which went on for three years and seemed destined to go on forever. In March 2014 the Court rejected the request for suspension of the restraining order and postponed its decision until late October.
Surprisingly, secret negotiations led to the settlement of the controversy between the parties, which actually marked a victory for the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage. The new museum will, in fact, host all 257 cars included in the list filed by the ministry. This list includes the eight 'duplicates' that Fiat wanted to release from the inventory and sell to make money for the renovation of the museum. In addition to the renovation of the rooms and the headquarters of the Historic Motoring Centre (which will be 25% larger), the project also includes a show room for new car display and delivery, a coffee shop, restaurant, shop and even a small test track.
Work started in Autumn 2014 to try and complete construuction in time for the Milan Expo opening on May 1st, but unfortunately it will not be completed. The new target is for it to open on the 24th June: the day in which Alfa was founded in Milan back in 1910.
Fiat's decision to reopen Arese is reported in the first instance to be based on the unique occasion of the Milan Expo, whose headquarters will be located only a few kilometers away from Arese. The secondary reason is to support the ambitious plans for the relaunch of Alfa Romeo announced by Sergio Marchionne in May. The revival of the area surrounding Arese is combined with the reopening of the museum, which is within the perimeter of the old plant. The newly announced Arese Shopping Centre will be a multi-purpose site including the historic factory test track (1600 metres in length) and a new exhibition space for activities related to the world of motoring, including rallies, exhibitions and more. The track and service facilities will cover a total surface of 86,000 square metres.
The Arese plant was established in 1963 when the original Portello factory in Milan had become too small. In the golden age of the 'Biscione' almost 20,000 employees worked for Alfa Romeo. Arese was progressively abandoned when Alfa Romeo passed into the hands of the Fiat Group. The car assembly line was closed in 2000 and the last cars manufactured there were the GTV and the Spider. The engine production, including the glorious Busso designed V6, shut down in 2005.

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