Alfa Romeo Could Close Historical Museum
It seems every automaker in the known world is creating a museum, but none has come close to the one on the Alfa Romeo complex in the outskirts of Milan, Italy. There are other museums, such as those in Germany, that feature rare automobiles and brand-centric items, but the Alfa museum is different. Within its walls are some of the most valuable and historical racing and road cars of all time.
Currently, the Alfa Romeo museum is closed for renovations, but it seems that it might not reopen at all if these reports out of Europe are correct.
The museum is located in Arese, Italy, which is about 20 minutes from the heart of Milan. It was closed in February for renovations, but in order to pay for them, Alfa was forced to sell some of its prized machines. Up for grabs are models like the 1951 Alfetta that was driven to victory by Juan Miguel Fangio. Despite the sales, the museum still houses 130 cars that are said to be worth between 50 and 60 million euros.
With such a prized collection, it would be hard to imagine such a museum closing down, but it seems its location is hurting business. Even though the museum is only a car ride away from Milan, it’s outside of the typical tourist area, so only 24,000 visitors came last year. This is a third of the crowd that arrived for Alfa’s 100th Anniversary celebration last year.
Alfa Romeo fans around the world should be upset, but they’re not the only ones. Guido Podesta, president of Italy’s Milano province stated that, “it would be a deadly sin to close the museum.”
This isn’t the first time that an automaker has been forced to sell off various vehicles in order to finance renovations or other activities. General Motors sent many of its models from its heritage collection to the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Arizona to fund its projects two years ago.