This article, written by Rosie Scammell, appears on The Guardian.
Italy’s culture minister looks abroad for overhaul of art galleries and museums
Dario Franceschini ruffles local feathers by appointing seven foreigners to head Italy’s most prestigious galleries, including Florence’s Uffizi and Accademia
Italy’s culture ministry has appointed 20 new directors to manage some of its top museums, including Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, with a number of foreigners brought in to revamp the way the country’s vast heritage is presented to the public.
Fourteen art historians, four archaeologists, one cultural manager and a museum specialist make up the new directors, who will be at the forefront of cultural reform in Italy. The majority have international backgrounds and half are women, although the culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said nationality and gender had no influence on Tuesday’s appointments.
Beyond daily museum management, each director will be tasked with coming up with innovative cultural programmes and impressing both local and international visitors. The new bosses will also need to bring a creative flair to financing, making way for alternative funding models such as philanthropic donations in the face of tight government budgets.
Their appointment comes eight months after hopeful candidates responded to an advert in the Economist magazine, issuing an international call for directors at Italy’s world-class museums. Despite the stringent requirements, including at least five years’ managerial experience and a cultural or scientific specialism, the ministry’s plea attracted 1,222 applicants. Read more at The Guardian.