The exhibition

Steve McCurry is one of the greatest masters of contemporary photography and a reference for a vast audience. Young people, especially, find in his photos a way of looking at our time.

"Steve McCurry - Icons" is an exhibition that collects more than 100 shots, perhaps the best of the photographer's vast production. It offers to the visitors a symbolic trip into the complex world of experiences and emotions that McCurry’s images stand for: his journeys to India, and then to Afghanistan, the native country of Sharbat Gula, the girl who became an absolute icon of world photography, the girl McCurry met and photographed in a camp in Peshawar, Afghanistan, many years ago.

With his photos, Steve McCurry puts us in direct contact with the most remote ethnic groups and the most diverse social scenarios, underlining a human condition made by universal feelings and glances proudly affirming the same dignity. Looking at his pictures the visitors can cross borders and closely know a world destined to great changes. Indeed, the exhibition starts with an extraordinary series of portraits and develops among images of war and poetry, of suffering and joy, of wonder and irony.

The venue

Copyright di Alessio Ballerini

Called by Pope Clemente XII to reshape the profile and improve the functions of the Ancona harbor, Luigi Vanvitelli starts in 1732 the leper hospital of the city, a structure in which were a combination of sanitary and defensive functions: he had built a true and proper artificial isle.
In November 1736 the isle was ready, the consecutive year it became a warehouse and in the meanwhile the job were carrying on. In May 1738 the perimeter is concluded and the entire building was finished on February 13th, 1743.

At that time the building had principally a sanitary role: the merchandise and the persons were hosted on its inner and started to populate it with vivacity until, on XIX century, predominates the military and defensive role of the building and in 1860 it is at the centre of the battle for the conquest of Ancona.

After that date the leper hospital was entrusted to the Ancona district and became a warehouse: for this reason have been many changes about the proportions of the halls and the doors. It is not over because in 1884 the building assumes the role of refinery of sugar: appeared the smokestack inside the court and with the passing time, after the crisis of the first world war, the district supposes to sale the building to private as an industrial building (metallurgy, container..). Finally in 1927 the building was sold to the state and between 1940 and 1955 the leper hospital became first warehouse of the army then warehouse of crude tobacco. There have been more changes, structural intervention and reshaping in which the Mole had maintained its architectonical charisma.

From Fifties to 1990 there were other structure modifications to increase the capacity of the warehouse until in 1989 the building were entrusted to the superintendence that starts a restoration work in order to recover the principal intents. After few time, the leper hospital has been taken by the Ancona district (1990) that on years, thanks to the support of Cariverona foundation, organized an prudent restoration work for giving back to the building the possibility to host exhibitions, conventions and social spaces.


Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic figures in contemporary photography for more than thirty years. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCurry studied cinematography at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a newspaper. After two years, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he crossed the border into Pakistan. In a small village he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian invasion was closing the country to Western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after months embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry made his way over the Pakistan border with his film sewn into his clothes. McCurry's images were among the first to show the world the brutality of the Russian invasion.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create unforgettable images over six continents and numerous countries. His body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest amongst dozens of others.


Steve McCurry. Icons

Dates: February 26th to June 25th, 2017

Venue: La Mole Vanvitelliana - Banchina Giovanni da Chio 28 - 60121 Ancona

Timetables: Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 7 pm; ticket office closes at 5.30 pm Closed on Monday
On the 17th and 24th of April and 1st of May, the exhibition will be extraordinarily open

Tickets (audioguided included):
Full price € 10,00
Reduced price € 8,50 for groups of at least 12 people and Ecce Home exhibition ticket holders
Special reduced price € 4,00 for school groups and visitors aged under 18
Free Admission for visitors under the age of 6 and disabled people

For information, please call +39 02 89096942

For groups reservation please send an e-mail to mostre@civita.it

For information and reservations info@museieducativi.it or at number +39 338 1726039; online all the proposals http://museieducativi.it/

For information on Steve McCurry’s activities, please write to info@sudest57.com




During all the exposition period will be possible to participate to the didactic experiences, designed in partnership with MUSEDU.

There are in program many appointments for enthusiast, adolescents and family with kids that would like to live the exhibition putting them in contact with the work of the most adventurous photo reporter of the world! It is a proposal directed to schools of every class and level to and wants to transmit to all participants the knowledge about far away cultures, the strength of the images in the mass media period and the technical aspects in order to put the student in contact with the magnificent world of Steve McCurry. All the initiatives will be featured by a practical mark with simulations and a possibility to analyze the photo reporters instruments.

For information and reservations info@museieducativi.it or at number +39 338 1726039; online all the proposals http://museieducativi.it/

Guided tour for groups until 25 persons € 80,00
Guided tour in language for groups until 25 persons € 120,00

Guided tours for schools:
Guided tour for equal or less than 25 persons classes € 7,00
Guided tour with laboratory for equal or less than 25 persons classes € 9,00

The fee is intended for every student in which is included the price ticket; for the courier, teachers and disabled person the ticket is free. Are provided reductions for reservations of two or more classes from the same institute.

Press office

Barbara Izzo - Arianna Diana
Tel. 06 692050220-258
Email: b.izzo@operalaboratori.com

Comune di Ancona
Federica Zandri
Tel. 071 2222321
Rosanna Tomassini
Tel. 071 2222316

Fondo Mole Vanvitelliana
Gabriella Papini
Tel. 071 200648 – mobile 347 5080306 – 333 8358071


Download the press release

Download the photos' captions

To download images you can visit the site www.civita.it – sala stampa

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The info contained in this site shall inure to the benefit of the visitors of the site and the exhibition "Steve McCurry - Icons" with no further commercial purposes. The images in this site are protected by the Law on Copyright. The use of images and texts contained therein is allowed only for promotion, communication and press office activities explicitly linked to the exhibition "Steve McCurry - Icons" set up in Ancona at the Mole Vanvitelliana (February 26th - June 25th, 2017).The use of images and texts is subject to compliance with the prohibition of manipulation and / or alteration of the same and with the obligation to quote the author, the title and the copyright statute.