Homage to a traumatic event in Bologna's recent history
A mysterious airline disaster
Part of the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museo Per la Memoria di Ustica commemorates a particularly traumatic event in Bologna's recent history: the crash of an Itavia DC-9 on June 27, 1980. After taking off from Bologna Airport, it mysteriously broke apart and crashed in the sea off the Sicilian town of Ustica, killing all 81 passengers and crew. After years of investigation, in 1999 the theory of destruction by missile was finally accepted - and among the most popular speculations (never proven) was that it was a French military plan gone awry, mistaking this aircraft for one carrying Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi in the vicinity that same night. The exhibition space includes the remains of the DC-9, around which French artist Christian Boltanski artfully arranged 81 glasses and 81 lightbulbs, never extinguished, as an homage to the doomed flight and its victims.