What is Going On At Italian Sites???

Okay … for the past while I’ve been trying to understand a number of Italian newspaper articles about changes going on at the  Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali  . It seemed that there were things going on ‘at the top’, but it took an item in English from the March edition of the Art Newspaper for them to actually make sense to me:

It is all change in Italy’s state administration of what it calls its “cultural assets”, the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, or MIBAC for short. Not only are nine high-ranking superintendents retiring [superintendents are the officials responsible for the state museums such as the Uffizi, for buildings such as the Coliseum, for archaeology and archives and conservation institutes, not to mention the much abused Italian landscape], but its top civil servant, Giuseppe Proietti, is also leaving. In a country where cultural life is deeply politicised, where career moves in the civil service depend on government whim to an extent that is unimaginable in the UK or US, the new secretary general is a Florentine, Roberto Cecchi (b. 1949).

The reaction nonetheless has been that the right man has been appointed. Cecchi trained as a conservation architect and entered the superintendency for architecture in 1980. From 1997 to 2001 he had responsibility for the “environmental and architectural assets” of Venice, a diplomatically challenging job that he discharged with energy, subtlety and pragmatism. Thereafter he returned to the ministry in Rome to head one of its directorate-generals.


His priority now will be to provide new leadership for the superintendency network, currently suffering from depleted manpower, absurdly restrictive regulations, inadequate funding and a government that has repeatedly shown little respect for the cadre. He will also have to prove that he can collaborate with Mario Resca, the government’s specially appointed director-general for “valorizzazione” of the artistic treasures of Italy, a term that should mean “making the most of”, but which some Italian politicians today think means “squeeze for the maximum profit possible”.

Apparently the job is going to be tough … in the past week, it seems, there have been a couple of major embarassing incidents.  According to La Repubblica, employees at the Pantheon interrupted a concert therein because it was ‘closing time’ (i.e. 6.00 p.m.; the concert was scheduled to end at 6.15). There’s a Youtube video of the incident (go to around the five minute mark for the employee’s entrance; enjoy the concert up to that point):

cf: Pantheon, concerto interrotto Le scuse del ministro Bondi | La Repubblica

see now: Bum note as attendants end concert in the Roman Pantheon | Guardian

Then in StabiaNews (March 6) we read this incipit:

Avrebbero potuto fare di tutto, magari staccare un mosaico e portarselo a casa. Di certo sono saliti su pezzi di colonne e capitelli per farsi immortalare come antiche statue. Il monumento archeologico pi� conosciuto al mondo per due ore in bal�a dei turisti. Tutto perch� qualcuno ha �dimenticato� di chiudere i cancelli mentre era in corso – fino alle 10,30 – un’assemblea indetta dalla Cisl, Uil, Flp e Rdb. [etc. apologies for the characters there; not sure what’s going on with that]

… i.e., for two hours while a union meeting was going on, tourists basically had the run of Pompeii, because someone forgot to lock the gate.

Pompei: Scavi incustoditi, turisti si avventurano ovunque | Stabia News/Libero

… the next day, folks were downplaying the incident and noting the problems that have arisen since the site of Pompeii was connected to Naples’ jurisdiction (or something like that):

Pompei: Scavi incustoditi, ora � scontro tra i sindacati | Stabia News/Libero

And as long as we’re in the environs of Naples, we can mention the restoration (of sorts) of the stadium at Puteoli, although no one can visit it due to lack of staff:

L’antico stadio di antonino. Il restauro a metà

Clearly we are seeing situations worthy of any number of internet abbreviations … OMG, WTF, SMH, DMNDS (that’s an Ochocincoism, I think) … etc.

2 thoughts on “What is Going On At Italian Sites???

  1. Confusing it is! But, I am not sure if the article 24 Feb 10 from the Art Newspaper is correct, but then agian given the limited information made public by the MIBAC in Rome, it is difficult to varify several changes within the MIBAC (Minstry of Culture) in Rome and elsewhere in Italy these last several months.

    As of March 10th 2010, Dott. dott. Giuseppe Proietti [formerly the Sec. Gen. of the MIBAC] replaces Prof. Angelo Bottini as the National Archaeological Superintendent of Rome. As noted on the website of the SSBAR in Rome.

    Current Structural Organization of the MIBAC (March 10th, 2010).

    – Min. of the MIBAC – Sandro Bondi.

    – Under-Sec. of the MIBAC – Francesco Giro.

    – Sec. Gen. of the MIBAC Giuseppe Proietti (who is being replaced by Roberto Cecchi who will serve until the end of the year as the National extra-ordinary archaeological commisioner of Rome and Napoli / Trans. = Il commissario delegato per le linee metropolitane di Roma e Napoli e commissario dell’area archeologica romana.

    – Dir. Gen. of Org. and Gen. Affairs – Antonia Pasqua Recchia.

    – Dir. Gen. of Valorization and Cultural Assets – Mario Resca.

    So on and so forth! The ancient city of Pompey is administered now like Rome, with both a National Archaeological Director and an extra-ordinary Archaeological Commissioner, etc., etc…..

    For a general organization outline the MIBAC in Rome (not updated as off now):

    As for other news of other adminstrative changes in the MIBAC see:

    Cronaca | 09/03/2010 | ore 12.50 »

    Roma, 9 mar. – Adnkronos) – Prosegue il giro di poltrone alle soprintendenze del Lazio. Ieri si e’ insediato il nuovo responsabile dell’area archeologica di Roma, Giuseppe Proietti, che ha sostituito Angelo Bottini in pensione dal 5 marzo. Proietti, archeologo di fama mondiale, ha lasciato il ruolo di segretario generale del ministero dei Beni culturali a Roberto Cecchi che rimane, almeno fino alla fine di quest’anno, anche commissario per l’area archeologica di Roma. Molte le indiscrezioni di questi giorni sugli incarichi che dovrebbero definirsi a breve. A quanto apprende l’ADNKRONOS, la soprintendente dei Beni architettonici del comune di Roma, Federica Galloni, responsabile tra l’altro anche del Pantheon, dovrebbe prendere il posto di Mario Lolli Ghetti alla direzione generale dei beni Culturali del Lazio. Posto che Lolli Ghetti aveva occupato lo scorso agosto in sostituzione di Luciano Marchetti, impegnato come vice commissario per la ricostruzione dell’Aquila.

    Lolli Ghetti, a sua volta, va al posto di Cecchi, che lascia la direzione generale per i Beni Architettonici, Paesaggistici, Storico, Artistici ed Etno-antropologici. E il suo ruolo, in attesa del possibile arrivo della Galloni, e’ attualmente ricoperto ad interim da Antonia Pasqua Recchia direttore generale per l’innovazione, l’organizzazione e la formazione del Mibac.


  2. Dear Mr.Meadows, I received the following e-mail from Italian Chamber of Deputies member, Hon. Manuela Ghizzoni (PD), regarding the recent article published in the l’ Espresso magazine:

    “Qui si vendono IL COLOSSEO. & Nel Pantheon delle Bustarelle – Le rivalazioni sulle mazzette all soprintendenza romane. Anche per la chiesa del ministero.” L’ESPRESSO (04.03.2010),

    Mrs. Ghizzoni write in her mail:

    “Caro sig. Conde, purtroppo siamo già alla distruzione della nostro patrimonio culturale. Così come della nostra democrazia. E il rammarico più grande è l’assoluta disattenzione e la totale mancanza di indignazione che accompagnano questo scempio. Povero nostro amato Paese.”

    Con i migliori saluti,

    Manuela Ghizzoni [09/03/ 2010 e-mail personal communication].

    [-End of text-].

    Thank you
    Martin G. Conde
    Washington DC, USA

    Please see: http://rometheimperialfora19952010.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/rif-roma-archeologia-e-corruzione-politica-caro-sig-conde-purtroppo-siamo-gia-alla-distruzione-della-nostro-patrimonio-culturale-ecc-di-manuela-ghizzoni-09032010/

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