Rome’s former abattoir in Testaccio to host Academy of Fine Arts

Rome’s Città delle Arti plan to breathe new life into landmark site.

A major project is underway to transform a large part of Rome’s former abattoir in the Testaccio district into the headquarters of the capital’s Academy of Fine Arts.

The Città delle Arti (City of the Arts) plan will see the ex-Mattatoio site host the new 40,000-sqm base of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma under a 20-year concession.

Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri and the city’s heritage councillor Tobia Zevi visited the site on Wednesday to inspect the first stage of the works which are set for completion next June.

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The fine arts academy, which has had two lecture rooms at the site since 2011, will be housed in former stables, barns and the octagonal Panottico building at the ex-Mattatoio which was designed by Gioacchino Ersoch and served the city as a massive slaughterhouse from 1888 until 1975.

Gualtieri described the concession to the Accademia di Belle Arti as “a fundamental element of the project that will see the birth of a true City of the Arts in this historic place for Rome, where creativity, innovation, art and culture will intertwine in a symbol of participation and inclusion.”

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The works are the final part in the urban regeneration project at the ex-Mattatoio that will see the art academy join the Palaexpo company (which manages the city’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni, MACRO and Mattatoio art spaces), the faculty of architecture of the Roma Tre University, the Città dell’Altra Economia, and a school of music.

“Overall it is an extraordinary project that gives back to the city a piece of industrial archaeology, completely repurposed and renovated in the name of culture” – concluded Gualtieri – “A symbol of Rome that is changing”.

For full details of the project see the city website. Photo Roma Capitale.