Italian Museums (ctd.)

January 25 2016

Image of Italian Museums (ctd.)

Picture: Telegraph

The new reforming Italian government's measures to shake up the country's museum sector are continuing, with a slew of new directors parachuted into position now beginning to make changes. But - wowee - look at this piece in The Telegraph on James Bradburne (now running the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan) to see just how bad things have become:

"The system here is paralysed and doesn’t function,” said Mr Bradburne. “The fact that Italian museums open their doors every day is a miracle.” [...]

Despite boasting some of the finest paintings in the world by great masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael, Italy’s museums are undervisited. Not one features on the list of the world’s top 10 most visited museums.

Many have a poor presence online. The website of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, one of the country’s top tourist attractions, is difficult to find and is put to shame by sites of rival galleries abroad such as the Tate or the Getty.

Moreover, a system where by no Italian museum was allowed control of their own finances has sapped the motivation of many past directors. Revenue from ticket sales, venue hire or bookshops had to be paid to Rome, which then redistributed it at their discretion.

Similarly, donors wanting to help a specific museum had to send it via the capital, which would eventually return it – sometimes years later. The 20 new appointees will take charge of their own finances for the first time.

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