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The retrospective of architect Luigi Moretti at Rome’s new MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, July 2010
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by Walter Robinson

Rome’s new MAXXI museum -- the XXI stands for "21st century," the MA for "museum of art" -- is so grand that I think we missed a floor on our first visit. Designed by deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid (via a scribble, Roman wags say, that was interpreted by master engineers), the three-story, warehouse-sized facility is sited in the relatively ho-hum northwestern sector of Rome’s central city, behind a modern ornamental gate on a spacious plot landscaped with alternating swaths of concrete and white pebbles.