MiBACT disseminates criteria for declaring exhibitions of significant cultural or scientific interest


The Ministry of Culture has released in a circular the criteria for declaring exhibitions of significant cultural or scientific interest.

With Circular Number 7 of February 16, 2018, signed by the Director General of Museums, Antonio Lampis, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT), set out the criteria for awarding the declaration of relevant cultural or scientific interest of exhibitions or displays of cultural goods, pursuant to Article 48 of the Cultural Heritage Code (Legislative Decree 42 of 2004). The article, in its sixth paragraph, stipulates that the ministry “has the power to declare, at the request of the interested party, the relevant cultural or scientific interest of exhibitions or expositions of cultural goods and any other initiative of a cultural nature, for the purposes of the application of the benefits provided by the tax regulations.”

Therefore, the circular identifies the criteria for an exhibition to boast the recognition of relevant cultural or scientific interest: 1. the innovative contribution of the project, both in relation to the theme investigated (discoveries, new research, acquisitions or reconstructions of historical, critical and stylistic junctures), and in relation to the way in which the theme, although already investigated, is presented; 2. the importance attributed to the relationship with the reference territory; 3. the completeness and clarity of the exhibition itinerary detectable in the organization of the layout and the selection of works; 4. the presence of a catalog with critical essays, cataloging of individual works, and bibliography, from which the theses and cultural and scientific results of the event emerge; 5. the relevance of the works in relation to the proposed theme, with particular attention to the presence of those rarely circulating and therefore difficult to access by the public; 6. the existence of agreements with European and international scientific and cultural institutions; 7. the presence of educational and informative apparatus accompanying the exhibition itinerary, with particular regard to the use of new technologies, and the creation of additional content through institutional communication channels.

The ministry will consider these criteria in combination, since, the circular states, “none of them constitutes an independent evaluative element with respect to the others.” All applications from exhibitions that do not meet the seven requirements will be declared “unfeasible”: however, exhibitions by living authors or with works executed within seventy years, which fall “only partially” within the criteria, will be evaluated “on the basis of the overall scientific value of the exhibition project, in light of the above criteria.” Exhibition organizers, in submitting applications, will have to submit the scientific project, a description of the exhibition itinerary indicating educational-disclosures and possible use of new technologies, a complete list of works on display (indicating museum or collection of provenance, inventory number, author, title, subject matter, technique, measurements, chronology and insurance value), a statement of the amount of tax benefit obtainable, and at least one copy of the exhibition catalog.

Pictured: a photo of the recent Dentro Caravaggio exhibition in Milan. Photo by Molteni & Motta.

MiBACT disseminates criteria for declaring exhibitions of significant cultural or scientific interest
MiBACT disseminates criteria for declaring exhibitions of significant cultural or scientific interest


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