Autonomous museums, take two

Autonomous museums, take two

An announcement made today in Rome opens up an international search for 13 more directors of autonomous museums.

Wed 29 Jan 2020 1:31 PM

Echoing the 2014 search for international museum directors that saw minister Dario Franceschini’s structural reform give administrative and scientific autonomy to twenty of the country’s most important museums, an announcement made on January 29 in Rome opens up an international search for 13 new directors.



The newly reinstated minister Franceschini’s first order of business was to reverse changes made to “his” system by Alberto Bonisoli of the Cinque Stelle cabinet, in which three of the directors chosen in the 2014 search were deposed, including Cecilie Hollberg of Florence’s Accademia; autonomy will be reinstated to the Accademia, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia and Parco dell’Appia Antica next month. He also recently reinstated the “Domenica al Museo” program in which state museums are free on the first Sunday of every month, and re-combined the ministries of tourism and culture, which had been separated. New actions, announced last December, include the creation of the Italian Digital Library, an office that will control the digitalization of cultural patrimony, and an office for the security of cultural patrimony in light of environmental crises.


This new call may be seen as an extension of his 2014 actions. Franceschini considers this international search another step on the “road to innovation and modernization of the national museum system. The statistics of these past years speak clearly: the combination of autonomy and quality directors is a winning mix both for museums and for territorial development.”


No new Tuscan institutions are amongst those selected for autonomy this round; in Florence, the Uffizi Museums (including Palazzo Pitti), Accademia and Bargello (including Medici Chapels and Palazzo Davanzati) already underwent the change in 2014. They new institutions are: in Rome, Galleria Borghese di Roma, Museo Nazionale Romano and Vittoriano and Palazzo Venezia; in Naples, the Biblioteca e Complesso monumentale dei Girolamini; in Urbino the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche; as well as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, Museo Nazionale d’Abruzzo dell’Aquila, Museo Nazionale di Matera, Palazzo Ducale di Mantova, Palazzo Reale di Napoli, Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, Parco Archeologico di Sibari and Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna.


Those interested in applying for the job as museum director by March 3, 2020, can find information here.

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