The exhibition

A discovery path

A wide selection of archaeological finds dating back to the initial phase of the Golasecca Culture (XII-X century BC) - discovered during excavations for the construction of the railway link between the two Malpensa terminals - is permanently on display at the Terminal 2 station of the international airport.

The exhibition "The Golasecca Culture - The Insubri, first Celts of Italy" is the result of an agreement between the Regional Section of the Ministry of Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism, Lombardy Region, FNM Group and SEA. The exhibition is composed of 77 objects and original structures, accompanied by multimedia devices that illustrate the origins of Insubri, the first Celts of Italy to whom are due, during the following Iron Age, both the development of a network of commercial contacts between the Mediterranean and Central Europe and the foundation of important Lombard cities starting with Milan.

During the construction work for the railway link between the two Malpensa terminals, inaugurated in December 2016, a total of 81 cremation burials with pottery and bronze objects were found. The graves, dug in the bare earth, contained the cinerary urn - a pottery container with the cremated remains of the deceased - with a set of armilla (bracelets), fibulae (brooches) and rings. In total there were of over 300 finds all inventoried, catalogued and restored.

"The Golasecca Culture - The Insubri, first Celts of Italy" represents an unprecedented and great showcase, an element of surprise and great visual impact in an unusual setting like the railway station of an international airport. The exhibition allows on the one hand valorization of the finds at a very short distance from where they were discovered, on the other to make them visible to hundreds of thousands of people 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Technical report

The whole area occupied by the "requalification" is represented by a "change of sensorial perception" lights, colours and surfaces change in comparison with the adjacent commercial areas. The choice of flooring in natural linoleum allows those who pass by to hear, also through the feedback from their footsteps, that they are entering into a new area, allowing travelers to slow down to better understand what surrounds them. The walls are of a warm, soft and refined tobacco colour declined in the presence of wooden panels covered in faux leather, the paintwork on the walls above the panels and the large skylight which characterizes and illuminates the area below.

The visitors are received in the exhibition by a large information panel covered in faux leather, with brick-like motifs, which acts as a frame for a large golden panel containing a brief description of the exhibition and the characters who participated in its making. Moving towards the access to the trains, on the left hand side, we find the display cases with the archaeological finds. Like in a big library where one can find precious manuscripts, the wall transforms into a great and refined exhibitor where, in each showcase, one can admire the precious finds, in the same manner as a "Wunderkammer" - a room of wonders.

On the wall, a wooden panel 250 centimetres high, is fixed to the structure by a contoured profile which allows its complete adhesion to the rear mountings. As with the Great Introduction Panel, this wooden panel is also covered in faux leather sewn with irregular brick-like motifs in tobacco colour. Every panel is composed of "multilayer", that is a 2 cm wooden base panel forming the structure and a series of small applied panels in leather. At floor-level a painted iron skirting board facilitates the cleaning of the area. Positioned on the wall covering, we find the showcases, divided into two types; the first are iron-box forms, with internal decoration similar to gold-leaf and the external part in unpainted iron.

The second type of showcase, all of the same size, has a metal base and the rest entirely in glass. The metal base is fixed to the wall behind, in the same manner as the larger showcases and is formed of two metal boxes which merge into each other; in this way it has been possible to position the shelves, in opaque glass on the two longer sides, and in transparent glass on the shorter sides, a LED provides the illumination, using the glass shelves as a fibre-optic. On the right-hand side of the exhibition we find a wall, also covered with the same library-like motif, which contains six historic characters inserted into their historical-territorial context. This representation is based on the technique of wings, where each element, printed on glass, is positioned at varying distances to create the effect of a three-dimensional scene. Proceeding to the centre, one cannot fail to see the iron and glass "truncal-pyramid", which houses a container full of sand, on which are placed the best-preserved finds.

This showcase is composed of two monolithic parts: the first made with three sides in laminate which supports a tubular iron structure on which rests most of the glass prism forming the covering, the second element is the trolley with the 10 cm container; to this structure are fixed the elements which close the first part, or the glass and laminate which make up the last facet of the prism. Further along, on the sides of the steps, one finds three LED walls, where a total of 54 screens each of 55 inches are supported on a wooden structure covered in laminate.

Davide Bruno