Contemporary art museum to open in Rome

ROME (AP) - A huge museum for contemporary arts and architecture
opens its doors in Rome this weekend in a bid to draw avant-garde art lovers to a city defined by its ancient monuments and Baroque fountains.

The Maxxi museum designed by Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid is the latest and most ambitious project to try to refresh the Italian capital's image of a decadent city bent on its glorious past.

The museum marks its opening with a three-day celebration that includes the unveiling Thursday of inaugural exhibits and an invitation-only VIP party.

Maxxi opens to the public Sunday. The euro150 million ($223 million) Maxxi is made of cement walls, steel stairs and a glass roof. It is located in a residential neighborhood outside the eternal city's historic center.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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