The Italian Almanac

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Mole Antonelliana in Turin

Italian News - February 8

Turin's richly stocked National Cinema Museum has been revamped ready to shine for the 20th Winter Olympics. Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione said the new-look museum will be uncovered Thursday, on the eve of the Torino 2006 opening ceremony.

The overhaul entails, among other things, the setting up of new areas for science-fiction movies, westerns and musicals, and improvements to the animation section. The lay-out has been made more visitor-friendly too and the museum's film projection equipment has been replaced with new, state-of-the-art gear.

The National Cinema Museum is housed at Turin's 19th-century Mole Antonelliana, a distinctive domed building that was originally designed as a synagogue and has become a symbol of the city. The museum is spread over five floors. One is devoted to 'cinema archaeology' and enables visitors to discover the history of the art form. Another is dedicated to movie screenings. There is a 'movie factory' on the fourth floor, which takes enthusiasts though the process of making a flick, and a display of film posters fills the top tier.

The museum also has an exceptional archive that includes over 7,000 films, with many rare silent movies; around 300,000 film posters and playbills; magic lanterns and slides from the early days of filmmaking; props and film equipment; 71,000 photographs, as well as a fine library.