By Maz Woolley
All the images used in this article have been provided by the Museum and their copyright applies to all the items shown.
A new venture has been launched on the web based upon the collection of its founder Giovanni Botta. Giovanni has been collecting model cars and advertising materials since 1972. Now he shares his collection with others with similar interests. With a web site he can make it available to the world in the way a physical museum with glass cases could not.
The museum consists of thousands of cards with pictures and detailed descriptions for each model car and advertising items. In order to fund the website, and to avoid the need to continually bombard users with advertising, Giovanni has to levy a small charge for entering the museum, at the time of writing this is 3 Euros for 3 hours visiting time. If you logout correctly you can return to use up any unused time left later. This is an interesting innovation and it will be interesting to see if it is a success as if it is we may see other collections tread a similar path.
On entering the museum you may choose between model cars or advertising objects and can view the collections by various themes or search them as you wish. The collections are quite clearly personal and rather than focus on collecting everything of a particular kind there are a few items across lots of different categories. As far as the cars are concerned the collection has many interesting items and often these are shown photographed from a number of angles. Although the collection is divided into many categories it should be noted that some like presidential and royal cars have just one item in them. The collection includes model makers like ERIA that I had never seen before.
The screen shot below shows a typical card for model cars.
The photography is of high quality and a variety of shots and variation details is often included which is more instructive than viewing a model in a display case would be. One instinctively tries to double click on the larger image shown on the card to get a full screen image and examine the model more closely but unfortunately you are not allowed to do this which those looking to examine detail may find frustrating. This is made worse by the fact that the card is shown in a band in the middle of the screen on wide screens and does not make full use of the screen width. That said the image quality and presentation does give a good view and one can always use one’s browser zoom to enlarge the view.
The advertising section is arranged in a similar way and contains lots of period items showing the various styles of design. Particularly interesting are the counter displays for a wide variety of products showing what advertisers thought would catch the eye in different decades.
I enjoyed my visit and found much to interest me there.
Like all Museums there is a shop which can be accessed without paying for a browsing section. The shop sells some high quality Italian resin models from small firms like IV Model and PIT Model as well as some models that have been made specially for the shop which are shown below:
S16/08 (Mu.Bo. 001) Fiat 500 A advertising “GELATERIA DE PELLEGRIN”
S16/05 (Mu.Bo. 002) BRUMM’S Fiat 500 “MUSEO BOTTA”
MUSEO BOTTA (Mu.Bo. 003) Porsche 356 1300 # 285 F. Van de Kaart – J. Swaters Rally Montecarlo 1952.
This car was characterized by “periscope” headlights and was produced in a very few pieces (for now only 6) with the collaboration of IV MODEL (Ilario Vecchiato).
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