Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX
55 1103 9800
There’s no shortage of quality museums in Mexico City, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the cities with the greatest number of museums in the world. One of its finest options is the Museo Soumaya at Plaza Carso, which houses the private art collection of Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world. The collection consists of 66,000 pieces of art from mainly Europe from the XV to XX century, and even though there are works of art done by Mexicans in the collection as well, Slim has stated he wants to provide the opportunity to Mexicans who can’t afford to travel to Europe to be able to enjoy this European art. The museum is named in honor of his wife Soumaya, who passed away in 1999.
And speaking of works of art, the actual building that houses the museum is an architectonic masterpiece worthy of its own dose of admiration. It could probably be described as a silver toadstool, sleek and shiny, its curved steel structure reflecting the mood of the sky. It’s still peculiar and enigmatic within the skyline in this part of Polanco, but it was even more so when it first opened more than a decade ago, as the area still had some of its original industrial flavor, even a train grumbled by at night mere steps away from the main entrance. The cost of the structure has been reported at between $800 million to $1.4 billion dollars. Architecture enthusiasts might see a similarity with the works of Gehry and Wright.
Access to the museum is free and once inside you can enjoy the art collection that includes works of french artist Auguste Rodin (including his classic work “The Thinker”), Sandro Botticelli, Picasso, El Greco, Van Gogh, and Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali, as well as Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. Also, when you’re a bajillionaire numismatic enthusiast of course you have a healthy collection of coins and currency to show off, as such, the Soumaya Museum is home to the world’s largest Hispanic and Colonial coins currency collection. The most expensive work, according to experts, in the whole collection is the “Madonna of the Yarnwinder” painted by a member of Leonardo da Vinci’s circle (that has to count as a quasi-Da Vinci, right?).
As is almost common knowledge already in the city: you should take the elevator to the top floor, the one beautifully illuminated by natural light, and then walk down the gentle slopes to the rest of the exhibitions down below till you reach the lobby; why trek uphill through the whole experience, right? As far as getting there, the closest Metro station is “Río San Joaquín” from Línea 7 which is approximately 20 minutes away from the museum. The best option to get there is calling a cab, Uber or even the Ecobici service that covers all of Polanco. But the important thing is to find a way, and enjoy the unique experience provided by the Soumaya Museum.