Italia Nostra: "MiBACT's latest reform will aggravate the situation of superintendencies"

According to Italia Nostra, the national association for the protection of the nation’s historical, artistic and natural heritage, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage is not doing enough to support the superintendencies, since its action would be focused only on the major museums, for which selections have just begun that are to lead to the appointment of new directors in some autonomous institutes that currently have vacant or expiring directorships. “We rejoice at the timeliness of the minister’s action,” reads Italia Nostra’s text, “while having to express growing concerns about the state in which important sectors of the Ministry and the bodies in charge of governing the country’s cultural policies are in.”

Italia Nostra denounces “the progressive impoverishment of the technical and scientific skills of the Ministry towards more generalist managerial and administrative functions that would also have a right to be supported.” The association points to “the absolute lack of continuous training of technical and scientific staff, the failure to promptly reintegrate technical roles aimed at replacing retired staff, the lack of adequate legal grading and economic recognition of officials called upon to fill delicate management-type roles (RUP, directors of non-managerial institutes in charge of areas, etc.).”

“Contrary to what was stated in the objectives,” Italia Nostra continues, “the reorganizations that have followed one another since 2014 have substantially determined an important fracture within the discipline of Cultural Heritage: the separation between Protection and Enhancement; a separation that is entirely evident in the dissociation of the institutes aimed at Protection from those intended for cultural fruition: Regional Secretariats and Superintendencies on the one hand; General Directorate of Museums, Regional Museum Directorates and Autonomous Museums on the other. The lines that have guided the latest choices of regulatory instruments seem to be based on the erroneous conviction that the Ministry’s activities are reducible to two separate sectors: one, that of the Superintendencies understood as bureaucratic offices in charge of issuing authorizations and opinions on privately owned property; the other as the management of state-owned Museums and Places of Culture.”

According to Italia Nostra, in the face of the difficulties encountered with the 2014-2016 reform, the latest reorganization, that of December 2019, “will only aggravate and disrupt the precarious and insufficient arrangement of the various ministerial institutions present in the territories. The albeit appreciable birth of new Superintendencies, without preliminary studies, will only aggravate the system of the relationship with the territory.”

Instead, the association, the note concludes, “is convinced that the cultural policy of our country must be based on the Knowledge, Protection and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (public and private, major and minor, central and peripheral spread throughout the territory) ensured in the first instance by the Superintendence and continuous and planned maintenance of the Assets.”

Pictured: the Roman College, headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Ph. Credit Windows on Art.

Italia Nostra:
Italia Nostra: "MiBACT's latest reform will aggravate the situation of superintendencies"

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