Touting itself as “the world’s first and only immersive art experience celebrating pizza,” the Museum of Pizza - MoPi, for short - is scheduled to open this October in New York City. The location is yet to be announced.
The museum intends to not only illustrate the history of pizza (and apparently also the “untold story”), from its origins to its worldwide success, but also to celebrate pizza’s role in pop culture through art and interactive elements. The space will include a “cheese cave” made from silicone, a pizza art gallery, pizza meditation and a “pizza beach” where visitors will experience “a huge wave of cheese” - whatever all of that means since the museum’s website does not explain what the above mentioned features consist of. What the website says is that it will be “a space to bask in multi-sensory, psychedelic pizza joy.” Selfies are encouraged.
The idea for the pizza museum originates from Nameless Network, a Brooklyn-based media company.
The Museum of Pizza will be a pop-up museum, scheduled to open for only two weeks, October 13-28, but Nameless Network chief executive Kareem Rahma said the company may consider extending its run. Or it may be taken to other cities.
Admission is not cheap, at $35, and includes a slice of pizza. There will be food vendors, but Rahma clarified that it will not be a festival of food.
It is perhaps no coincidence that a museum dedicated to pizza will open in New York City, world capital of pizza, due to the large numbers of Italian immigrants. 10% of American pizzerias are in the Big Apple, approximately 61,000. Americans overall love pizza, which is consumed everywhere, generating a sales volume of 30 billion dollars a year.
However, the announcement has caused some controversy, with pizzaiolo Gino Sorbillo, one of the most respected pizza chefs in the world, writing on La Repubblica’s newspaper (Italy’s major daily), “The news of the upcoming opening of a pizza museum in New York puzzles and saddens me. An initiative of this kind only makes sense in our city (Naples, Ed.). Because pizza is Neapolitan and its origin is here, not elsewhere. […] I fear that a pizza museum in New York will contribute to create further international confusion about the origin of pizza.” (Many Americans seem to think that pizza originated in New York, Ed.). Sorbillo himself has a very successful pizzeria in New York, besides several in Naples and Milan.
For more information or to buy a pre-sale ticket, visit the Museum of Pizza website.