From Paestum to Siena's Pinacoteca, here are the new directors of MiC's autonomous museums

Director General of Museums Massimo Osanna has appointed six new autonomous directors, chosen from a trio of candidates, from the Paestum Park to the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena. They are five Italians and one Frenchman. Here are who they are.

Six new autonomous directors appointed: according to the public selection procedure, the Director General of Museums, Massimo Osanna, has chosen the six new directors from the trio of candidates indicated by the commission for each institute. The six new directors will go on to lead the Museum of Digital Art, the Museum of Civilizations, the Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia, the Archaeological Park of Sepino, the Archaeological Park of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, and the National Picture Gallery of Siena.

The committee, which evaluated 156 candidates, was chaired by Stefano Baia Curioni, associate professor of economic history at the “Luigi Bocconi” Commercial University of Milan and an expert on the economics of culture, and composed of: Nadia Barrella, full professor of museology at the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”; Valérie Huet, professor of ancient history at the University of Western Brittany and Center “Jean Bérard”; José María Luzón Nogué, Real Academia de Belòlas Artes de San Fernando, former director of the Prado Museum; Antonia Pasqua Recchia, former secretary general of the Ministry of Culture.

“Italian museums have changed profoundly in recent years and are now a recognized excellence in the world, because the right people have gone to lead them through rigorous international selections,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini. “The intersection between autonomy and the quality of the directors has made it possible to take important steps forward in modernizing the museum system and strengthening protection and scientific production. I thank the committee for the thorough work done in recent months that led to the appointment by the director general museums, Massimo Osanna, of six new directors, five Italian and one French.”

Here are who the new directors are.

Museum of Digital Art

Ilaria Ester Bonacossa is the director of the new National Museum of Digital Art in Milan. In the final trio she prevailed over Giulia Bini and Simone Arcagni. An art historian and curator, director of the contemporary art fair “Artissima” in Turin from 2017 to 2021, director of the Academic Master’s course in “Contemporary Art Markets” at the New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, she directed the Civic Museum of Contemporary Art “Villa Croce” in Genoa from 2012 to 2016. She was curator of the National Pavilion of Iceland at the 55. International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2013. She has been director of curatorial projects for major Italian art foundations. The Museum of Digital Art that will be based in Milan will be dedicated to the production and presentation of digital content, playing a strategic role in the contemporary cultural scenario, which is increasingly digitized, connected and globalized, in which the very notion of work and audience is inevitably evolving.

Museum of Civilizations

Andrea Viliani is the new director of the Museum of Civilizations in Rome. In the final trio he prevailed over Marco Biscione and Francesco Rubat Borel. An art historian, he is head and Curator of the Castello di Rivoli Research Center. He previously served as General and Artistic Director of the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee/MADRE in Naples (2013-2019) at which he curated and organized major international exhibitions; from 2009 to 2012 Viliani was Director of the Fondazione Galleria Civica-Centro di ricerca sulla contemporaneità in Trento. The Museum of Civilizations brings together the collections of the following museums: prehistoric ethnographic museum “Luigi Pigorini”; museum of popular arts and traditions “Lamberto Loria”; museum of the early Middle Ages “Alessandra Vaccaro”; museum of oriental art “Giuseppe Tucci”; and the Italian-African museum “Ilaria Alpi” (former Colonial Museum). The birth of the Museum of Civilizations is part of the vision of large international museums focused on man and his cultures, for the enhancement of heritages and testimonies of different identities and memories.

Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia

Tiziana D’Angelo is the new director of the Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia. In the final trio she prevailed over Carmelo Malacrino and Giorgio Sobrà. An internationally trained archaeologist (Phd Harvard), an expert on the art and archaeology of Magna Graecia, she teaches at the University of Nottingham (UK) and received her PhD in classical archaeology from Harvard University in 2013.The Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998, has territorial jurisdiction over the museum and archaeological area of Paestum, the Narrative Museum of Hera Argiva at the mouth of the Sele River, the area of the former Cirio factory, the city walls, and other archaeological areas under its jurisdiction. The Park is responsible for enriching, preserving, and enhancing archaeological and historical-artistic collections and monuments in order to contribute to the preservation, research, and sustainable enjoyment of cultural heritage. Full profile of Tiziana D’Angelo here.

Sepino Archaeological Park

Enrico Rinaldi is the new director of the Sepino Archaeological Park. He prevailed in the final trio over Marianna Bressan and Alessio De Cristofaro. An archaeologist specializing in monument restoration, he has long directed planned maintenance projects in Ostia and Pompeii. An adjunct professor at the Scuola Superiore Meridionale of the University of Naples “Federico II,” he currently works at the General Directorate of Museums. The Sepino Archaeological Park will include the archaeological area of the same name, with the remains of the ancient Roman city that arose in the Tammaro Valley, and the museum of the city and its territory, sites that collectively saw more than 27,000 visitors in 2019.

Cerveteri and Tarquinia Archaeological Park.

Vincenzo Bellelli is the new director of the Cerveteri and Tarquinia Archaeological Park. He prevailed in the final trio over Andrea Camilli and Daniele Federico Maras. An internationally renowned archaeologist, a research executive at the CNR serving at the Institute of Cultural Heritage Sciences, he is scientific head of archaeological excavations in the urban area of Cerveteri. The Cerveteri and Tarquinia Archaeological Park includes the Banditaccia necropolis, the largest in the Mediterranean area, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004; the National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia, which is housed in the ancient Palazzo Vitelleschi and preserves, among other things, the famous high relief of winged horses from the Ara della Regina excavations; and the Monterozzi necropolis. These sites collectively recorded more than 153,000 visitors in 2019. Full profile of Vincenzo Bellelli here.

Siena National Picture Gallery.

Axel Hémery is the new director of the Pinacoteca di Siena. He prevailed in the final trio over Elena Rossoni and Alessandro Delpriori. An art historian and current director of the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse, he has been curator of the Pierre-André Benoit Museum in Alès (Gard). The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena, located in the stately Palazzo Buonsignori e Brigidi, houses the most important collection of 14th- and 15th-century Sienese gold-ground panel paintings, with masterpieces by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, and Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. In 2019, the museum had nearly 10,000 visitors. Axel Hémery’s full profile here.

Pictured: the Collegio Romano, headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Ph. Credit Windows on Art

From Paestum to Siena's Pinacoteca, here are the new directors of MiC's autonomous museums
From Paestum to Siena's Pinacoteca, here are the new directors of MiC's autonomous museums