Italian Museums (ctd.)

June 19 2018

Image of Italian Museums (ctd.)

Picture: via Tripadvisor

There's an interesting editorial in The Burlington Magazine on the future of Italian museums, now that the reforming culture minister, Dario Franceschini, has lost his post, after the recent Italian elections. The Burlington rightly approves of his decision to end the tradition of having exclusively Italian-born museum directors, but also hopes that his most significant reform - on museum financing - will survive:

The most fundamental reform, however, has not been controversial – giving museums and galleries control over their own finances. Previously, all income received by a national museum, whether from entrance fees or revenue from merchandise, for example, was passed back to the state, which then redistributed it at the discretion of the ministry. Although this provided a welcome source of income for small or little-visited museums, it was a major disincentive for large institutions to attempt to build revenue by improving their attractiveness to visitors with facilities such as shops and cafés. More seriously, the system made it virtually impossible for them to raise funds from outside sources, since benefactors could usually not specify where or how their donations would be spent.

The Burlington highlights how the new possibility of raising funds from supporters is helping the Bargello Museum in Florence (above), which has long suffered from an inability to go out and compete for funds and attention. A new Friends of the Bargello organisation is helping change all that. Of course, AHN joins The Burlington in praising Dario Franceschini's achievements, and hopes that his changes continue to bring positive benefits to Italy's wonderful museums!

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