E il New York Times ironizza sulla “fast-food culture”

Non c’è niente da fare, la nomina di Mario Resca a futuro supermanager dei musei italiani non riesce a passare inosservata. Adesso anche la stampa straniera mette in risalto la notizia parlando di fast food culture e persino di MrCaravaggio and medium Coke. Anche inq uesto caso riporto l’articolo per intero che vale la pena di leggere.

Cheeseburgers Get Into the Mix in the Italian Debate on Museums

Published: November 21, 2008

ROME — When it comes to cultural heritage, Italians like to boast that theirs is the richest in the world, even if they are chronically short of the money needed to tend to it.

Yet the art world here is in an uproar over suggestions from Italy’s culture minister, Sandro Bondi, that the country should think of its state museums and archaeological sites as generators of revenue. It hasn’t helped that Mr. Bondi has chosen Mario Resca, who ran McDonald’s Italian subsidiary for 12 years, to head a new ministry directorate to develop the museums and ancient sites. Mr. Resca has no experience in arts management, and commentators have joked that the government is serving up “fast-food culture” or a “McCaravaggio and medium Coke.”

But the deepest concern in art circles centers on the government’s apparent shift from a constitutional mandate to protect Italy’s cultural heritage toward an entrepreneurial model that exploits it. It is lost on no one that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who assumed his office for the third time in May, is a megawealthy businessman and proud of it.

“What’s at stake is the conservation and transmission of millenary values that one government must not be allowed to undersell or demolish,” said Marisa Dalai Emiliani, president of the Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli Association, a cultural research institute. On Monday the association organized a daylong seminar on the arts in Italy ominously titled “Cultural Heritage Emergency.”

A petition against the appointment of Mr. Resca, whose powers as museum supermanager include the authorization of loans and ruling on the cultural or scientific value of exhibitions, was circulated at the seminar and is now online. It has so far been signed by more than 1,100 people, the majority of them museum directors and art historians from around the world.

The appointment hinges on the approval of some Culture Ministry reforms that are to be considered at a Cabinet meeting next week.

Mr. Resca readily agrees that he might not have been an obvious choice for the job. But he says he is confident that he has the right skills to get the most out of what he sees as an insufficiently tapped national resource.

“I’m an outsider, and I know that there are concerns — it’s enough to read the papers,” he said, referring to the deluge of indignant editorials that have been published since he was nominated last week. But he said he saw room for improvement in state museum management.

Italy’s cultural patrimony is a “strategic asset like oil, with zero costs because it’s there,” Mr. Resca said. “Of course, you have to protect it, and care for it, but it has a value that we can leverage and develop.”

Some say the choice of Mr. Resca was particularly galling because Mr. Bondi named him without consulting top-ranking Culture Ministry officials or its advisory board.

“If the minister had listened, he’d have heard that what museums really need is not a boss, but more flexibility — that is, more autonomy,” said Daniele Lupo Jallà, the national president of the International Council of Museums.

He said the chief challenge for Italian museums was not a lack of central leadership but the “unbearable heaviness of its patrimony, which costs a lot to maintain.”

As economies sputter around the world, the arts have been among the sectors hardest hit by government cutbacks and dwindling private resources. In Italy more than one billion euros ($1.25 billion) have been slashed from the Culture Ministry’s budget over the next three years.

“We’ve been fighting to have more funds, we need them, but the left thinks these have to come from the state,” Mr. Bondi said. “The fact is it just can’t be like that anymore.”

His recipe has been to reorganize the ministry by creating the new supermanagerial position focusing on museums and archaeological areas. Mr. Bondi has done away with the directorate of contemporary art and architecture, which has been absorbed by other offices.

He has also discussed the possibility of renting works of art to foreign museums, a proposal that has also raised an outcry among cultural officials.

Statistics show that the only museums in Italy to rank among the world’s 10 most visited museums are those of the Vatican, which technically lie outside Italian jurisdiction. (They attracted 4.3 million visitors in 2007.)

Pompeii, officially Italy’s most visited site, had nearly 2.6 million visitors last year, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence followed with 1.6 million.

Citing the 8.3 million people who visited the Louvre Museum in Paris or the 6 million at the British Museum in London, Mr. Resca suggested that the Italian numbers were simply too low.

“We have to make museums more accessible, we have to make visiting a more positive experience,” Mr. Resca said in an interview this week.

He said that Italy must also expand its “client potential” through marketing campaigns in economies like China and India, and develop tourism infrastructure in less-visited cities to allow “underperforming museums to grow.”

But museum management experts caution that the vast majority of museums around the world depend heavily on government financing and private donations.

Where there is most room for development is museum merchandising, which has not really taken off since laws were first passed in Italy 15 years ago to allow commercial transactions in what had been hallowed halls of culture.

“You can encourage visitors to consume more, but it’s going to be harder to increase the numbers,” said Massimiliano Vavassori, director of the research center at the Italian Touring Club, which monitors museums.

He pointed out that many of Italy’s best-known attractions, like Leonardo’s “Last Supper” in Milan or the Borghese Gallery in Rome, allowed for only limited numbers of visitors.

“When ticket sales cover around 10 percent of a budget, it’s not realistic that an increase will have much of a financial impact,” Mr. Vavassori said. He added that the impact of a crowd was “more likely to be negative, both for visitors and for the site itself.”

Despite the furor, Mr. Resca said he was optimistic about his prospects. “I need time to learn,” he said. “Maybe in six months I’ll say something completely different.”

Questo è il link dell’articolo  del New York Times

Annunci

Rispondi

Effettua il login con uno di questi metodi per inviare il tuo commento:

Logo WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Google+ photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google+. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: