Located just south of Milan, the “Museum of Sh*t” offers a uniquely fecal experience
image via (cc) flickr user mulsanne
Sometimes a trip to the museum can be a wonderful experience, full of great art or fascinating science. Other times, though, it can be pretty shitty.
At Italy’s Museo della Merda, though, “pretty shitty” is the whole point. The museum, whose title translates to “The Museum of Shit,” opened this Spring in the northern Italian town of Castelbosco, and sits on the grounds of an in-use dairy farm where cattle produce over 220,000 pounds of manure per day. Inspired by his fecal wealth, farm owner Gianantonio Locatelli created the museum with partners Luca Cipelletti, Gaspare Luigi Marcone and Massimo Valsecchi, in order to educate the public on the history of, uses for, and complex cultural relationship with—what else?—Poop.
According to their “About” page, the museum:
[...] brings together biomechanics and environmental art, the agricultural landscape, the system of digesters that turn manure into energy, and the ground floor of the late-medieval castle of Castelbosco – kept warm thanks to the heat exchange of the engines that generate . Home to a series of installations in continuous evolution, dedicated to transformation, the ability to transmute natural substances and re-establish a healthier relationship between man and nature. Themes that were once the stuff of alchemists, and which are now at the basis of a project that does away with cultural norms and pre-concepts.
Featuring both art, as well as more scientifically-focused installations, the museum celebrated its grand opening this past week with an off-site exhibit at Milan’s Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology.
Back on the farm, Locatelli not only celebrates poop as the basis for his foray into museology, but also puts to good use the tons of fecal fallout from his dairy cows, by refining the manure into methane, crop fertilizer, and even construction material.
This short, Italian-language newscast gives a sense (thankfully, not scent) of what the museum is like:
Currently the Museo della Merda is home to an exhibit exploring the use of poop-energy for heating purposes, as well as another highlighting the bioluminescence which occurs during bacterial feeding of methane gases. Museum visits are available by appointment only, and only on weekends from May through August.
Visitors are practically guaranteed to have a shitty time.