Five minutes with… Livio Lodi, Ducati’s Museum Director

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Taking over from Marco Montemaggi as the Curator of the Ducati Museum in December 2001, Olivio Lodi considers himself more of an archaeologist than a Director…

“A museum director can be someone who just takes care of a structure, an archaeologist is more interesting. We didn’t have an archive prior to the creation of the museum in 1998 so as we have created the museum we have started to collect, slowly and patiently, small parts of large parts of history. Everyone knows the history of Ducati, there are lots of books about us, but nobody knows the real story about the people behind them – this is the real story of what I am collecting.”  

Having started work at the factory as a worker and progressing his way to being Museum Director, Livio believes this closeness with the company helps him in his role.

“I am a native. I was born nearby and I grew up just 700m from the factory. My father worked as a Doctor here and a consultant from 1963-1993. I have worked in the factory, as an accountant and now as a museum director here. I don’t think there is anything better than a native who can tell you exactly why people love this company so much.” 

The museum was inaugurated in 1998 for the first World Ducati week and aims to celebrate Ducati as a brand.

“We have racing motorcycles but we also have the most significant milestones throughout the almost 70 years of the story. It has become a Michael Angelo chapel for motorcycle enthusiasts – they say that if they want to go and see where these bikes are located, then Ducati is somewhere that I would like to go in my lifetime.”

Livio is like a doting father about the museum and can’t pick when asked his favourite exhibit…

“They are all important – like bricks in a wall – the wall of the history of Ducati involved every bike, and everything is integrated together. I cannot have a wish list and can’t say which my favourite is, as they are all important.”

With so many one-of-a-kind bikes in one place, it was no easy feat to get them all.

“The oldest ones were the hardest, and thankfully we have collected most of these. There is one that we are missing, the TT One which was released in 1984. This was a bike that had a short time of life – just six months – and then it was changed into the 750 F1. But we consider ourselves very lucky because we have milestones of stories like the very first bike used by Mike Hailwood, the first 125 Desmo. These bikes make people go crazy to see them in the flesh. We don’t have that many street bikes in the museum, maybe one day if someone in the main Audi management decides to enlarge the museum we can evaluate to add more.”

Smiling, he says, “I have a tough job, but someone has got to do it!”   

For more information on the museum visit: www.ducati.com

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Author: Motor Cycle Monthly

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