The Independent outlines the opportunity and challenge facing Mexico City and the Soumaya Museum as the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, makes bid to raise his country’s stature:
It is a collection so broad – add to the pot pieces by Modigliani, Chagall, Ernst and Miro, as well as the great Mexican muralists Siqueiros and Rivera – that making it all into a digestible whole will be the main challenge of the museum’s curators. Furniture and archeological treasures, including coins and spoons, are also part of the catalogue. Clearly, there will not be space for everything all at once and some of the collection will be rotated through the Soumaya.
At 71 years old, Slim is looking for the Soumaya, as his gift to Mexico, to shape his final legacy. As President Calderon noted, its opening will see the “old masters of Mexico” displayed for the first time alongside the European masters. Not that it won’t have competition in Mexico City, home already to such institutions as the National Museum of Anthropology and the annual Zona Maco Mexican Contemporary Art Fair. Art galleries here are abuzz with collectors searching for the next Gabriel Orozco, the young Mexican artist whose solo exhibition just ended at the MoMA in New York and is now at the Tate in London.
Also coming soon is the private Jumex Collection, which, after years of amassing work from contemporary emerging and established artists, is building its own exhibition space, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, just across from the new Soumaya. The two museums will be connected by a new park.
Soumaya Museum: Move over, Mr Getty (Independent)