Museum directors, maybe all to go again: Italian citizenship required? Meanwhile, Franceschini doesn't go for it

The Council of State again puts the brakes on foreign directors to manage Italian museums. According to the Council, the procedures chosen and adopted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage in the selection would be correct, but there would be an issue on the citizenship of the candidates that should refer the decision on the appointment of foreign directors to thePlenary Assembly of the Council of State.

The decision, made by the Sixth Section of the Council of State in a ruling on February 2 (but the chamber had met in October) concerns MiBACT’s appeal against Giovanna Paolozzi Strozzi’s appeal filed in recent months: from what we learn, the judges promote the procedure chosen by Mibact for the competitive evaluation of directors of public museums with managerial and administrative autonomy, but refer the decision on the opening to foreigners to the Plenary Assembly. This is because there would be a clash between the Council of State’s ruling opening to foreign directors and civil service regulations requiring Italian citizenship for access to roles such as those advertised by MiBACT for museum directors.

“The central substantive issue,” the ruling reads, “concerns whether citizens of a member state of the Union who are not also Italian citizens (Mr. Peter Assmann being a citizen of the Republic of Austria) may participate in the selection procedure under consideration”(Peter Assmann is the current director of the Ducal Palace in Mantua) and that “the regulatory framework of reference should be defined, on the relationship that exists between the general provisions on admission to public employment, as to the requirement of Italian citizenship, and the provisions governing the post of director of a state museum.”

The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini, expressed himself on social networks as follows, "The Museum Directors chosen through international selection, whether Italian or foreign, have brought extraordinary results in just two years, from 12 million more visitors to improved services and scientific activity. Their work has toured the world, inspiring acclaim and admiration for Italy. From the very beginning, the reform met with all kinds of resistance. Dozens of appeals have been filed, there have been 16 decisions by the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, 6 by the Council of State, the last one in favor of the possibility of appointing foreign directors. Now, however, the same Council of State is changing its position and referring the decision concerning the appointment of Peter Assman, director of the Ducal Palace in Mantua, to the Plenary Council. It starts again. And it will take months for a decision..."

Franceschini added, "I respect all judgments of the Judiciary and I am confident of the final decision, but I can only wonder: what will they think in the world of a country in which a reform that has worked is continually called into question? And what will those nations that have had Italian directors running their most prestigious museums for years think of us? And what will those citizens who have seen the extraordinary work of the directors of the Uffizi, Brera, Capodimonte, Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, Urbino, Paestum think?"

The decision of the Plenary Meeting of the Council of State will have to wait until April.

Museum directors, maybe all to go again: Italian citizenship required? Meanwhile, Franceschini doesn't go for it
Museum directors, maybe all to go again: Italian citizenship required? Meanwhile, Franceschini doesn't go for it

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